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SALLY DOWS 



BRET HARTE’S WORKS. * 

LIBRARY KDITION. In Seven Volumes, crown 8vo. cloth extra, 6j. each. 

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SALLY DOWS 


ETC 


l^v 

BRET HARTE 



Um 47 fir vs7/tj7io.\ V fy jr, /> AiauyNP, o. ftu rcmmoM 
6. A JAi OMft l/0<w W A AfOA'A'OU' 


^onboit 

CHATTO & WIN DUS, PICCADILLY 

1893 



I'RtNTffn nv 

srOTTKSVOOnE ANO CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE 



CONTENTS 

Sai.i.v Dovv.s . . , . . , . I 

Tllh OONbl’IKACY 01* MkS. liUNKKK . .144 

The TKANblOKM ATION 01’ JSUCKLYE CaMI' . . . 217 


Tueik Uncle iiu>M California 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


PAOJK 

<C 0 ’NNLK COURTLANiV with AN EXPLANATORY WAVE OK 

THE HAMMER TOWARDS HER COMPANION . Frtf/ltlspicCC 
THE OFFICER PICKED IT UP WITH A STRANGE FEELtNG . 6 

THE ARGUMENT IN THE TRAIN . . . . . I5 

<GLAD TO SEE YO’, CUN’NEL ’ . . . .*18 

AUNT MARTHA , . . . . . . , 21 

SHE RECEIVED I'j' WITH A STILE GREATER ACCESS OF 

DIGNTTY . . . . . . • 3 ^ 

TYING STRINGS OF V LONG STRIPED COHON 15 EOUSE 36 

SHE RFJiilOVED HER LITTLE SLIPPER FROM HER FOOT . 50 

FIXICD HER IIRIGHT GREY EYES ON HIS SERIOUS FACE . 55 

‘YO’ MEAN TO SA\ THERE’S NOTHING LETWEEN VO’ AND* 

SALLY DOWS?’ . . . . . 63 

‘AND THIS WREATH, IS IT FROM YOU?’ CONTINUED 

COURTLAND GENTLY . . . . .76 

HE FELT THE SOI ? TOUCH OF HER SMALL HANDS ON HIS 

SHOULDERS . . . . , , . 86 

‘YOU’RE A GOOD FELLOW, CHAMPNEY,’ SAID COURTLAND 95 
THERE WAS THE DISTINCT HOLE MADE liY A RUJ.LET . lOJ 
‘NO ! NO !’ SCREAMED THE TERRIFIED MAN . . 1 16 

SOPHY, MISS DOWS’S HOUSEKEEPER, SEATED NEAR HIS 

liED-HEAl), WAS LAZILY FANNING HIM . . . 124 

‘IF YOU’LL TAKE MY UNPROFESSIONAL ADVICE, COLONEL 

COURTLAND, YOU’LL LET THIS MATTER SIMMER DOWN* 13I 
SHE STOPPED--HES 1 TATED— A SINGULAR WEAKNESS FOR SO 

SELF-CONTAINED A NATURE . . . . MP 



SALLY DOWS 


, PAGE 

SHE FOUNP TIME TO INDULGE HER FANCY . . . 146 

SHE GLANCED TOWARDS THE SEA . . • 0 • *48 

BEDSHING his dusty CLOTHfeS . . . . . I49 

THERE WAS SOMETHING VAGUELY HISTORICAL IN HIS 

ATTITUDE . . . . . . • . 153 

‘YOU’D BETTER PUT THEM ON ’ . . . . . 158 

* HONOUR ME BY KEEPING THIS RING ’ . . . 161 

‘there’s BEEN AWFUL TIMES OVER IN ’FRISCO’ . . 163 

SHE SAW IT ALL xNOW -THAT GLORIOUS VISION . . 165 

THEIR FIRST QUARREL . . . . . . 167 

HL CONSUI/TED ‘CAP’ SIMMONS . . . -171 

SLIPPED A LETTER INTO HER HAND . . . . 172 

‘THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY,’ SHE SAID . . * 180 

MEN HAD GATHERED IN KNOTS . . . . 194 

THAT GREY SEA, ETEKNAI.LY WAITING FOR HER . . I96 

against THE COMING GALE . . . . . I97 

ARRAYED HERSELF IN HER HUSBAND’S ITLOT COAT • . 202 

STRUCK DOWN MRS. BUNKICR . . , . . 204 

HEjj HEAD PILLOWED ON THE SHIRT-SLEEVE OF AN 

ARTILLERY COKPORAI. . . . . . 2 o 6 

HER SINCERITY AND PASSION WERE I-TJUALLY UNMIS- 
TAKABLE . . . . . . 208 

THE <;KNEKA|As BROW RELAXED , . . .210 

THREW HFRSKI.F UPON HER HUSBAND’S BREAST . . 212 

‘(;AZING INTER IHF.M TWO TRUlHFUI. KYES’ , . 213 

THE FLAG FLEW REGULAKl.V OVER THE ROCKY SHELF . 2 l 6 

‘she can BF gilt-edged when she wanes T 0 ’.~ . 221 

‘“MIRA CABALLEROS!” ’ERE WK ARE A(iAIN, BOYS ! ’ . . 228 

MISS MENDEZ . . . , . . . 23I 

SAUNDERS LOOKED AT THEM WITH A SINGULAR SMILE . 242 

A GROUP HAD AI READY DRAWN POUND THE FIRE • . 261 

UNCLE SYLVESTER TOOK THE PIPE FROM HIS MOUTH * 290 



SALLY DOWS 


PROLOGUE 

THE ’-AST GUN AT SNAKE RIVER 

What had been in the cool grey of th^it summer 
morning a dewy country lane, marked only by a 
few waggon tracks that never encroached upon its 
grassy border, and indented only by the faint 
footprints of a crossing fox or coon, was now, 
before high noon, alreetdy crushed, beaten down, 
and trampled out of all semblance of its former 
graciousness. The heavy springless jolt of gun- 
carriage and caiss’on had cut deeply through the 
middle track ; the hoofs of crowding cavalry had 
struck down and shredded the wayside vines and 
bushes to bury them under a cloud of following 
dust, and the short, plunging double-quick of 
infantry had trodden out this hideous ruin into^ 
one dusty level chaos. Along that rudely widAied 



3 


SALLY DOWS 


highway useless muskets, torn accoutgements, 
knapsacks, caps and articles of clothing were 
scattered, with here and thfere the larger wrecks 
of broken-down waggons, roughly thrown aside 
into the ditch to make way for the living current. 
For two hours the greater part of an Army Corps 
had passed and repassed that way, but, coming or 
going, always with faces turned eagerly towards 
an open slope on the right which ran parallel to 
the lane. And yet nothing was to be seen there. 
For two hours a grey and bluish cloud, rent and 
shaken with explosion after explosion, but always 
closing and thickening after each discharge, was 
all that had met their eyes. Nevertheless, into 
this ominous cloud solid moving masses of men 
in grey or blue had that morning melted away, or 
emerged from it only as scattered fragments that 
crept, crawled, ran or clung together in groups, to 
be followed and overtaken in the rolling vapour. 

But for the last half-hour the desolated track 
had stretched empty and deserted. While there 
was no cessation of the rattling, crackling, and 
detonations on the fateful slope beyond, it had 
still been silent. Once or twice it had been 
crossed by timid, hurrying wings, and frightened 
and hesitating little feet, or later by skulkers and 
.stragglers from the main ct)lumn who were tempted 
to enter it fn)m the hedges and bushes where they 



SALLY DOWS 


3 


had been creeping and hiding. Suddenly a pro- 
longed yell from the hidden slppt^. beyond — the 
nearest sound that ha3 yet been heard from that 
ominous distance — sent them to cover again. It 
was followed by the furious galloping of horses in 
the lane, and a handsome, red-capped officer, 
accompanied by an orderly, dashed down the 
track, wheeled, leaped the hedge, rode out on the 
slope and halted. In another instant a cloud of 
dust came whirling down ihe lane after him. 
Out of it strained the heavy shoulders and tight- 
ened chain-traces of six frantic horses dragging 
the swaying gun that in this tempest of motion 
alone seemed passive and helpless with an awful 
foreknowledge of its power. As in obedience^ to 
a sigiial from the officer they crashed through 
the hedge after him, a sudden jolt threw an 
artilleryman from the limber before the wheel. 
A driver glanced back on the tense chain and 
hesitated. ‘ Go on ! ' yelled the prostrate man, 
and the wheel went over him. Another and 
another gun followed out of the dust cloud, 
until the whole battery had deployed on the slope. 
Before the drifting dust had fairly settled, the 
falling back of the panting horses with their 
drivers gave a momentary glimpse of the nearest 
gun already in position and of the four erect, 
figures beside it. The yell that seemed to have 



4 ,, 


SALLY DOIVS 


evoked this sudden apparition again sounded 
nearer ; a blinding flash broke from the gun, 
which was instantly hidden "by the closing group 
around it, and a deafening crash with the high 
ringing of metal ran down the lane. A column 
of white, woolly smoke arose as another flateh 
broke besid<; it. This was quickly followed by 
another and another, with a response from the 
gun first fired, until the whole slope shook and 
thumlerecl. And the smoke, no longer white and 
wholly, but darkening and thickening as with un- 
burnt grains of gunpowder, mingled into the one 
ominous vapour, and driving along the l^ne hid 
even the slope from view. . • 

^The yelling had ceased, but the grinding and 
rattling heard through the detonation of cannon 
came nearer still, and suddenly there 'Vas a shower 
of leaves and twigs from the lower branches of 
a chestnut treenear the brok'-n hedge. As the 
smoke thinned again a rising and falling medley 
of flapping hats, tossing horses’ heads and shining 
steel appeared for an instant, advancing tumultu- 
ously up the sloj>e. But the apparition was as 
instantly cloven by flame from the two nearest 
guns, ami went down in a gush of smoke and roar 
ol sound. So level was the delivery and so close 
‘ the impact .that a space seemed suddenly cleared 
between, in which the whirling of the shattered 



SALLY BO (VS 


■5 


remnants of the charging cavalry was distinctly 
seen, and the shouts and oaths^of the inextricably 
struggling mass became plain and articnlate. Then 
a gunner serving the nearest piece suddenly 
dropped his swab and seized a carbine, for out pf 
the whirling confusion before them a single rider 
was seen galloping furiously towards the gun. 

The red-capped young officer rode forward 
and knocked up the gunner’s weapon with his 
sword. For in that rapid gk-ince he had seen that 
the rider's reins were hanging loosely on the neck 
of his horse, who was still dashing forwards with 
the ftytic impetus of the charge, and that the 
youth® figure of the rider — wearing the stripes 
of a lieutenant — although still erect, exercised no 
control over the animal. The face was boyish, 
blonde aqtl ghastly ; the eyes were set and glassy. 
It seemed as if Death itself were charging the 
gun. 

Within a few feet of it the horse swerved 
before a brandished rammer, and striking the 
cheeks of the gun-carriage pitched his inanimate 
rider across the gun. The hot blood of the dead 
man smoked on the hotter brass with the reek of 
the shambles, and bespattered the hand of the 
gunner who still mechanically served the vent. 
As they lifted the dead body down the order cam§ 
to 'cease firing.’ For the yells from below "had 



6 


SALLY nows 


ceased too ; the rattling and grinding wag reced- 
ing with the smoke further to the left. The 
ominous central cloud parted for a brief moment 
and showed the unexpected sun glittering down 
the slope upon a near and peaceful river. 



THK ni Flri'R riCKED it HI' WITH A STRANGll FEKLINO 


I he young artillery officer had dismounted 
and was now gently examining the dead man. 
His breast had been crushed by a fragment of 
.shell ; he must h.ave died instantly. The same 
jnissile had cut the chain of a locket which slipped 
from his opencal coat. The officer picked it up 





SALLY DOWS 


7 


with a strange feeling — perhaps because he was 
conscious himself of wearingasimiHrone ; perhaps 
because it might give him some clue to the man’s 
identity. It contained only the photograph of a 
pretty girl, a tendril of fair hair, and the word 
‘ Sally.' In the breast-pocket was a sealed letter 
with the inscription, ‘ For Miss Sally Dows. To 
be delivered if I fall by the mudsill’s hand.’ A 
faint smile came over the officer’s face ; he was 
about to hand the articles to a sergeant, but 
changed his mind and put them in his pocket.”. 

Meantime the lane and woods beyond, and 
even the slope itself, were crowding with supports 
and waiting troops. His own battery was still 
unlimfcered, waiting orders. There was a slight 
commotion in the lane. * 

‘ Very well done, captain. Smartly taken and 
gallantly held.’ 

It was the voice of a general officer passing 
with his staff. There was a note of plea.sant 
relief in its tone, and the middle-aged, care-drawn 
face of its owner was relaxed in a paternal smile. 
The young captain flushed with pleasure. 

‘ And you seem ^o have had close work too,’ 
added the general, pointing to the dead man. 

The young officer hurriedly explained. The 
general nodded, saluted, and passed on. But ^ 
youthful aide airily lingered. • . 



s 


SALLY DOWS 


T^e old man’s feeling good, Court^^nd,’ he 
said. ‘ We’ve rolled ’em up all along the line. 
It’s all over now. In point of fact, I reckon you’ve 
firedj.llte last round in this particular fratricidal 
eng*i|;ement.’ 

The last round ! Courtland remained silent, 
looking abstractedly at the man it had crushed, 
and broken at his feet. 

‘ And I shouldn’t wonder if you got your gold- 
leaf for to-day’s woik. But who’s your sunny 
Soiithern friend here ? ’ he added, following his 
companion’s eyes. 

Courtland repeated his story a little more 
seriously, which however failed to subdue the young 
aide's levity. ‘ So he concluded to stojj over,’ he 
int'erruptc.d cheerfully. ‘ But,’ looking at the letter 
andphotograph,' 1 say — look here! “Sally Dows?” 
Why, there was another man picked up yesterday 
with a letter to the s;ime girl I J )oc Murphy has 
it. And, by Jove ! the .same picture too ! — eh ? I 
say, .Sally must have gathered in the boys, and 
raked down the whole pile ! Look here, Courty ! 
you might get Doc Murphy’s letter and hunt her 
up when this cruel war is over Say you’re 
“ fulfilling a sacred trust ! ’’ See ? Good idea, old 
man ! Ta-ta ! ’ and he trotted quickly after his 
superior. 

Courtland remained with the letter and 



SALLY DOWS 


9 


photogiieiph in his hand, gazing abstractedly after 
him. The smoke had rolled qu||t^ away from the 
fields on the left, but still hung heavily down the 
south on the heels of the flying cavalry. A long 
bugle call swelled up musically from below. The 
freed sun caught the white flags of two field hospitals 
in the woods and glanced tranquilly on the broad, 
cypress-fringed, lazy-flowing and cruel but beauti- 
ful Southern river, which had all unseen cre()t so 
smilingly that morning through the very heart of 
the battle. 



IC 


SALLY DOWS 


CHAPTER I 

The two o’clock express from Redlands to 
P'orestville, Georgia, had been proceeding with 
the languid placidity of the river whose banks it 
skirted for more than two hours. But, unlike the 
river, it had stopped frequently ; sometimes at re- 
cognised stations and villages, sometimes at the 
apparition of straw-hatted and linen-coated natives 
in the solitude of pine woods, where, after a decent 
interval of cheery conversation with the conductor 
and engineer, it either took the stranger on board, 
or relieved him of his parcel, letter, basket, or even 
the’ verbal message with which he was charged. 
Much of the way lay through pine-barren and 
swampy wotxls which had never been cleared 
or cultivated ; m\ich through decayed settlements 
and ruined villt^es that had remained unchanged 
since the War of the Rebellion, now three years 
jiast. There were vestiges of the severity of 
a former military occujiation ; the blackened 
limbers of railway bridges still unrepaired; and 
along the line of a certain memorable march, 



SALLY nows ir 

isectibn^of iron rails taken from the torn-up track, 
roasted in bonfires and bent while?, red-hot around 
the trunks of trees, were still tp be seen. These 
mementoes of defeat seemed to excite neither 
revenge nor the energy to remove them ; the dull 
apathy which had succeeded the day's of hysterical 
passion and convulsion still lingered ; even the 
slow improvement that could be detected was 
marked by the languor of convalescence. The 
helplessness of a race, hitherto dependent upon 
certain barbaric conditions or political place and 
power, unskilled in invention, and suddenly con- 
fronted with the necessity of personal labour, was 
visible everywhere. Eyes that but three short 
years before had turned vindictively to the North, 
now gazed wistlully to that quarter for help atid 
direction. They scanned eagerly the faces of 
their energetic and prosperous neighbours — and 
quondam foes - upon the verandahs of SoutHhrn 
hotels and the decks of Southern steamboat.s, and 
were even now watching from a group in the woods 
the windows of the halted train, where the faces 
appeared of 'two men of manifestly different types, 
but still alien to the country in dress, features, and 
accent. 

Two negroes were slowly loading the engine 
tender from a wood pile. The rich brown smok^ 
of the turpentine knots was filling the train with 



SALLV nows; 


12 

its stinging fragrance. The elder of J:he two 
Northern passengers, with sharp New England 
angles in his face, impatiently glanced at his 
watch. 

^ ‘ Of all created shiftlessness, this beats every- 

’ thing ! Why couldn’t we have taken in enough 
wood to last th(; ten miles further to the. terminus 
when we last stopped ? And why in thunder, 
with all this firing up, can’t we go faster ? ’ 

I'he younger passenger, whose (]uiet, wcll- 
bf(^d face seemed to indicate more discipline of 
ch.'iracter, smiled. 

‘ If you really wish to know — and as we’ve 
only ten miles further to go — I'll show you 
Come with me.’ fr 

' He led the way through the car to the plat- 
form and leaj)e(l down. Then he pointed signifi- 
cantly to the rails below them. His companion 
sta'rted. The. mc;tal was scaling off in thin strips 
from the rails, and in some places its thickness 
had been reduced a (juarter of an inch, while in 
others the. projecting edges were torn off, or hang- 
ing in iron shreds, so that the wheels actually ran 
on the narrow central strip. It .seemed marvellous 
that the train could keep tlie track. 

' N'otv you know why we don’t go more than 
jive miles an hour, and — are thankful that we 
dofft,’ said the young traveller quietly. 



SALLY DOWS 


‘ Bu(i this is disgraceful ! — c^inal ! ’ ejaculat^.^ 
the other nervously. 

‘ Not at their rate of speed,’ returned tMf 
younger man. ‘ The crime would be in going 
faster. And now you can understand why a good, 
deal of the other progress in this State is obliged 
to go as slowly over their equally decaying and 
rotten foundations. You can’t rush things here as 
we do in the North.’ 

The other passenger shrugged his shoulders 
as they remounted the platform, and the train 
moved on. It was not the first time that the 
two fellov* -If^vellers had differed, although their 
mission was a common one. The elder, Mr. Cyrus 
Drummond, was the vice-president of a large 
Northern land aiid mill company, whichhad bought 
extensive tracts of land in Georgia, and the 
younger. Colonel Courtland, was the consulting sur- 
veyor and engineer for the company. Drummond’s 
opinions were a good deal affected by sectional j)re- 
judice, and a self-satisfied and righteous ignorance 
of the actual conditit)ns and limitations of the 
people with whom he was to deal ; while the 
younger man, who had served through the war 
, with distinction, retained a soldier’s respect and 
esteem for his late antagonists, with a con- 
scientious and thoughtful observation of their 
character. Although he had resigned from the 



SALLY DOWS 


' '> 

Hjmy, the fact that he had previously giaduated 
at West Point with high honours had given him 
preferment in this technical appointment, and his 
knowledge of the country and its people made 
him a valuable counsellor. ' And it was a fact that 
the country peojile had preferred this soldier 
with whom they had once personally grappled to 
the tapitalist they had never known during the 
struggle. 

The train rolled slowly through the woods, so 
slowly that the fragrant pine smoke from the 
engine still hung round the windows of the cars. 
Gradually the ‘ clearings ’ became larger ; they 
saw the distant white wooden colonnades of some 
planter’s house, looking still opulent and preten- 
tidus, although the fence of its enclosure had 
broken gaps, and the gate sagged on its single 
hinge. 

Mr. Drummond sniffed at this damning record 
of neglect and indifference. ‘ Even if they were 
ruined, they might still have spent a few cents for 
nails and slates to enable them to look decent 
before folks, and not parade their poverty before 
their neighbours,’ he said. 

‘ But that's just where you misunderstand 
them, Drummond,’ siiid Courtland, smiling. ‘They 
have no reason to keep up an attitude towards 
their neighbours, who still know them as “ Squire ” 



SALLY DOWS 


If 



SALLY DOWS 


i6 

estates. They are not ashamed of bein^ poor, 
which is an accident.’ 

‘ But they are of working, which is delibera- 
tion', interrupted Drummond. ‘ They are ashamed 
to mend their fences themselves, now that they 
haVe no slaves to do it for them.’ 

‘ I doubt very much if some of them know 
how to drive a nail, for the matter of that,’ said 
Courtland, .still good-humouredly, ‘ but .that's the 
fault of a system older than themselves, which the 
founders of the Republic retained. We cannot 
give them e.xperience in their new condition in 
one day, and in fact, Drummond, I am very much 
afraid that for our purposes — and I honestfy believe 
for Ihcir good — we must help to keep them for the 
p*rt;sent as they are.’ 

‘ Perhaps,’ said Drummond sarcastically, ‘you 
would like to reinstate slavery ? ’ 

‘ No. But I should like to reinstate the 
master. .\nd not for his sake alone, but for free- 
dom’s sake and ours. To be plain : since I have 
taken up this matter for the company, I have 
satisfied myself from personal observation tha^ 
the negro-even more than his master— cannot 
handle his new condition. He is accustomed to 
his old traditional task-master, and I doubt if 
.he will work fairly for any other— particularly for 
those who don’t understand him. Don’t mistake 



SALLY DOW’S 


17 


me: I don’t propose to go back t^f the whip; to 
that brutal institution, the irrespons'Me overseer ; 
to the buying and selling, and separation of* the 
family, nor any of the old wrongs ; but I propose 
to make the old master our overseer, and respon- 
sible to us. He is not a fool, and has already 
learned that it is more profitable to pay wages to 
his old slaves and have the power of disrtiissal, 
like any other employer, than be obliged, under the 
old system of enforced labour and life servitude, 
to undergo the cost of maintaining incompetence 
and idleness. The old sentiment of slave-owning 
has disappeared before natural common sense and 
selfishness. I am satisfied that by some such pro- 
cess as this utilising of the old master and the 
new freedom we will be better able to cultivate 
our lands than by buying up their estates, and set- 
ting the old owners adrift, with a little money in 
their pockets, as an idle, discontented class to re- 
vive old Jjolitical dogmas, and foment new issues, 
or perhaps set up a dangerous opposition to us.’ 

‘You don’t mean to say that those infernal 
niggers would give the preference to their old 
oppressors ? ’ 

‘ Dollar for dollar in wages — yes ! And why 
shouldn’t they ? Their old masters understand 
them better — and treat them generally better. 
They know our interest in them is only an abstract 







SALLY DOWS 19 

sentiment, not a real liking. We, show it at every 
turn. But we are nearing Redlands, and Major 
Reed will, I have no doubt, corroborate my im- 
pressions. He insists upon our staying at his 
house, although the poor old fellow, I imagine, can , 
ill afford to entertain company. But he will be 
olfended if we refuse.’ 

‘He is a friend of yours* then?’ asked 
Drummond. 

‘ I fought against his division at Stony Creek,’ 
said Courtland, grimly. ‘ He never tires of talk- 
ing of it to me— so I suppose I am.’ 

A fev/ moments later the train glided beside 
the Redlands piatform. As the two travellers 
descended a hand was laid on Courtland’s shouldej", 
and a stout figure in the blackest and shiniest of 
alpaca jackets, and the whitest and broadest of 
Panama hats, welcomed him. ‘ Glad to see yo’, 
cun’nel. I reckoned I'd waltz over and bring 
along the boy,’ pointing to a grizzled negro servant 
of sixty who was bowing before them, ‘ to tote yo’r 
things over instead of using a hack, I haven't 
run much on honsefiesh since the wah — ha ! ha ! 
What / didn’t use up for remounts I reckon yo’r 
commissary gobbled up with the other live stock, 
eh ?’ He laughed heartily, as if the recollections 
were purely hunrorous, and again clapped Courtland * 
on the back. 



20 


SALLY DOWS 


' Let me introduce my friend, Mr. Drummond, 
Major Reed,’ said Courtland, smiling. 

^ Yo' were in the wah, sir ? ’ 

* No — I ’ returned Drummond he.sitating, 

he knew not why, and angry at his own em- 
barrassment 

‘ Mr. Drummond, the vice-president of the 
company,’ interI)osed Courtland cheerfully, ‘ was 
engaged in furnishing to us the sinews of war.’ 

Major Reed bowed a little more fgj'raally. 
"Most of us heah, sir, were in the wah time 
or other, and if you gentlemen will hon»h me by 
joining in a .social glass at the hotel across the 
way. I’ll introduce you to Captain Prendergast, 
who left a leg at Fair Oaks.’ Drummond would 
have declined, but a significant pressure on his 
arm from Courtland changed his determination. 
He followed them to the hotel and into the 
presence of the one-legged warrior (who turned 
out to be the landlonl and bar-keeper), to whom 
Courtland was hilariously introduced by Major 
Reed as ‘ the man, sir, who had pounded my 
division for three hours at Stony Creek ! ’ 

Major Reed’s house was but a few minutes’ 
walk clown the dusty lane, and was presently 
heralded by the baying of three or four fox- 
hounds and foreshadowed by a dilapidated con- 
dition of picket-fence and stuccoed gate front. 



SALLY DOWS 


21 


Beyond it stretched 
the wooden Doric 
columns of the 
usual Southern man- 
sion, dimly seen 
through the broad 
leaves of the horse 
chestnut trees that 
shaded it. There 
were the usual list- 
less black shadows 
haunting the veran- 
dah and outer offices 
• 

— former slaves and 
still attached house- 
servants, arrested 
like lizards in 
breathless attitudes 
at the approach of 
strange footsteps, 
and still holding 
the brush, broom, 
duster or home im- 
plement they had 
been lazily using, 
in their fixed hands. 
From the doorway 
of the detached 



AUNT MAHTHA 



SALLY DOWS 


n 

^tchen, connected by a gallery to the wii|ig of the 
mansion, ‘Aunt Martha,’ the cook, gazed also,- with 
a saucepan clasped to her bosom, and her revolv- 
ing hand with the scrubbing cloth in it apparently 
stopped on a dead centre. 

Drummond, whose gorge had risen at these 
evidences of hopeless incapacity and utter shift- 
lessness, was not relieved by the presence of Mrs. 
Reed — a soured, disappointed woman of forty, 
who still carried in her small dark eyes and thin 
handsome lips something of the bitterness and an- 
tagonism t)f the typical * Southern rights ’ woman ; 
nor of her two daughters, Octavia and Augusta, 
whose languid atrabiliousness seemed a part of the 
mourning they still wore. The optimistic gallantry 
and good fellow.ship of the Major api)eared the 
more remarkable by contrast with his cypress- 
shadowed family, and their venomous |x)ssibilities. 
Perhaps there might have been a light vein of 
Southern insincerity in his good humour. ‘ Paw,’ 
said Miss Octavia, with gloomy confidence to 
Courtland, but with a pretty curl of the hereditary 
lip, ' is alxrut the only “ reconstructed” one of the 
entire lamily. We don’t jnake 'em much about 
yer. But I’d advise yo’ friend, Mr. Drummond, 
if he’s coming here carpet-begging, not to trust 
.too much to paw’s " reconstruction.” It won’t 
wash.’ But when Courtland hastened to assure 



SALLY DOWS 


. a|'' 

her thai Drummond was not a ‘ carpet-b^gar,’ 
was not free from any of the political in- 
trigue impl& under that baleful tide, but was a 
wealthy Northern capitalist simply seeking invest- 
ment, the young lady was scarcely more hopeful. 

‘ I suppose he reckons to pay paw for those 
niggers yo’ stole ? ’ she suggeSfed with gloomy 
sarcasm. 

‘ No’, said Courtland, smiling ; ‘ but what if he 
reckoned to pay those niggers for working for 
your father and him t ' 

‘ If paw is going into trading business with 
him ; if^ Major Reed — a So’th’n gentleman — is 
going to keep shop, he ain’t such a fool as to 
believe niggers v ill work when they ain’t obliged 
to. That's been tried over at Mirandy Dowses, 
nor five mil(>s from here, and the niggers are half 
the time hangin’ round here takin’ holiday. She 
put up new quarters for ’em, and tried to make 
’em eat together at a long table like those low- 
down folks up north, and did away with their 
cabins and their melon patches, and allowed it 
would get ’em out of lying round too much, and 
wanted ’em to work over-time and get mo’ pay. 
And the result was that she and her niece, and a 
lot of poor whites, Irish and Scotch, that she had 
to pick up “long the river,” do all the work. And. 
her niece Sally was mo’ than half Union woman 



34 


SALLY DOWS 


during the wah, and up to all No’th’n tricks and 
dodges, and swearin’ by them ; and yet, for all 
that — ^the thing won’t work.’ 

‘ But isn’t that partly the reason ? Isn’t her 
failure a great deal due to this lack of sympathy 
from her neighbours ? Discontent is easily sown, 
and the negro is still weighted down by super- 
stition ; the Fifteenth Amendment did not quite ' 
knock off all his chains.’ 

‘ Yes, but that is nothing to her. For if there 
ever was a person in this world who reckoned 
she was just born to manage everything and 
everybody, it is Sally Dows!’ 

‘Sally Dows!’ repeated Courtland, with a 

■ slight start. 

■ Yes, .Sally Dows, of Pineville.’ 

‘You say she was half Union, but did she 
have any relations or — or — friends — in the war — 
on your side ? Any — who — were killed in 
battle ? ’ 

‘ They were all killed, 1 reckcMi,’ returned 
Miss Reed, darkly. ‘ There was her cousin, Jule 
Jeffcourt, shot in the cemetery with her beau, 
who, they say, was Sally s too ; there were Chet 
Brooks and Joyce Masterton, who were both 
gone on her and both killed too ; and there was 
•old Captain Dows himself, who never lifted his 

■ head ag;iin after Richmond was taken, and drank 



SALLY nows 


3.S 

himself *o death. It wasn’t considered healthy to 
be Miss Sally’s relations in thos# times, pr to be 
even wantin’ to be one,’ 

Colonel Courtland did not reply. The face 
of the dead young officer coming towards -him out [ 
of the||)Iue smoke rose as vividly as on that 
memorable day. The picture and letter he bad 
taken from the dead man’s breast, which he had 
retained ever since ; the romantic and fruitless 
quest he had made for the fair original in after 
days ; and the strange and fateful interest in hfer 
which-had grown up in his heart- since then, he 
now knew had only been lulled to sleep in the 
busy pre-occupation of the last six months, for it 

all came back to him with redoubled force. His 

• 

present mission and its practical object, his honest 
zeal in its pursuit, and the cautious skill and ex- 
perience he had brought to it, all seemed to be 
suddenly displaced by this romantic and unreal 
fantasy. Oddly enough it appeared now to bfe 
the only reality in his life, the rest was an inco- 
herent, purposeless dream, 

‘Is — is — Miss Sally married?’ he asked, 
collecting himself with an effort. “ 

‘ Married ? Yes, to that farm of her aunt’s ! 

I reckon that’s the only thing she cares for.’ 

Courtland looked up, recovering his usual 
cheerful calm. ‘ Well, I think that after luncheon 



36 


SALLY DOWS 


HI pay my respects to her family. Fram what 
you have just told me the farm is certainly an 
experiment worth seeing. I suppose your father 
will have no objection to give me a letter to Miss 
Dows ’ 


CHAPTER II 

Nevertheless, as Colonel Courtland rode de- 
liberately towards Dows’ Folly — as the new 
experiment was locally called — although he had 
not abated his romantic enthusiasm in the least, 
he was not sorry that he was able to visit it under 
a practical pretext. It was rather late now to 
seek out Miss .Sally Dows with the avowed intent 
of bringing her a letter from an admirer who had 
been dead three years, and whose memory she 
had j)robably buried. Neither was it tactful to 
recall a sentiment which might have been a 
weakness of which she was a.shamed. Yet, clear- 
headed and logical as Courtland was in his 
ordinary affairs, he was nevertheless not entirely 
free from that iieculiar sui>erstition which sur- 
rounds every man's romance. He believed there 
was something more than a mere coincidence 
in his unexpectedly finding himself in such 
favourable conditions for making her acquaintance. 



SALLY DOWS 


37 


For th% rest — if there was any rest— -he would 
simply trust to fate- And so, belierihg himself a 
cool, sagatiious reasoner, but being actually, as far 
as Miss feows was concerned, as blind, fatuous 
and unreasoning as any of her previous admirers, 
he rode complacently forward, until he reached 
the lane that led to the Dows’ plantation. 

Here a better-kept roadway 'and fence, whose 
careful repair would have delighted Drummond, 
seemed to augur well for the new enterprise. 
Presently, even the old-fashioned local form of 
the fence, a slanting zigzag, gave way to the 
more direct line of post and rail in the Northern 
fasfiion. Beyond it presently appeared a long 
low frontage of modern buildings which, to Court- 
land’s surprise, were entirely new in structure and 
design. There w.is no reminiscence of the usual 
Southern porticoed gable or columned verandah. 
Yet it was not Northern either. The factory-like 
outline of facade was partly hidden in Cherokee 
rose and jessamine. 

A long roofed gallery connected the buildings 
and became a verandah to one. A broad, well 
rolled gravel drive' led from the open gate to the 
newest building, which seemed to be the office ; a 
smaller path diverged from it to the corner house, 
which, despite its severe simplicity, had a more 
residential appearance. Unlike Reed’s house 



SAIZV DOWS 


28 

( 

thei« were no lounging servants or field bands to 
be seen ; they were evidently attending to their 
respective duties. Dismounting, Courtland tied 
his horse to a post at the office door and took the 
smaller path to the corner house. 

The door was open to the fragrant afternoon 
breeze wafted through the rose and jessamine.^ 
So also was a side door opening from the hall 
into a long parlour or sitting room that ran the 
whole width of the house. Courtland entered it. 
It was prettily furnished, but everything had the 
air of freshness and of being uncharacteristically 
new. It was empty, but a faint hammering was 
audible on the rear wall of the house, ihrohgh the 
two open b'rench Windows at the back,, curtained 
with trailing vines, which gave upon a sunlit 
courtyard. Courtland walked to the window. 
Just before it, on the ground, stood a small light 
laddef, which he gently j)ut aside to gain a better 
view of the courtyard as he [)ui on his hat, and 
stepped out of the open window. 

In this altitude he suddenly felt his hat tipped 
from his head, followed almost instantaneously by 
a falling slijjper, and the distinct impression of a 
very small foot on the crown of his head. An 
indescribable sensation passed over him. He 
hurriedly stepped back into the room, just as a 
small stri{>ed-stockinged foot wats as hastily draVm 



SALLY DOWS 


29 


up a^vf: the top of the window witlt tlie feminine 
exclamation, ‘ Good gracious me ! V ^ 

Lingering for an instant, only to assure himself 
that the fair speaker had secured her foothold and 
was in no danger of falling, Courtland snatched up 
his hat, which had providentially fallen inside the 
room, and retreated ingloriously to the other end 
'of the parlour. The voice came again from the 
window, and struck him as being very sweet and 
clear : ' 

‘ Sophy, is that you ? ’ 

Courtlnndtdlscreetly retired to the hall. I'o his 
great relief a" voice from the outside answered ; 

‘ Whar, Miss Sally?’ 

‘What did you move the ladder for? Yo’ 
might have killed me.’ • * 

‘ Fo’ God, Miss Sally, I didn’t move no 
ladder ! ’ 

‘ Don’t tell me, but go down and get my slipper. 
And bring up some more nails.’ 

Courtland waited silently in the hall. In a 
few moments he heard a heavy footstep outside 
the rear window. This was his opportunity. 
Re-entering the parlour somewhat ostentatiously, 
he confronted a tall negro girl who was passing 
through the room carrying a tiny slipper in her 
hand. ‘ Excuse me,’ he said politely, ‘ but I couH 
not find any one to announce me. Is Mbs Dows 
at home ? ’ 



30 ’ !iALLy DOWS 

•ii 

The girl instantly whipped the slipper behind 
her. ‘ Is yo’ wanting Miss Mirandy Dows,’ she 
asked with great dignity, ‘ oah Miss Sally Dows — 
her niece ? Miss Mirandy’s bin gone to Atalanta 
for a week.’ 

‘ I have a letter for Miss Miranda, but I shall 
be very glad if Miss Sally Dows will receive me,’ 
returned Courtland, handing the letter and his 
card to the girl. 

She received it with a still greater access of 
dignity and marked deliberation. ‘ It’s clean gone 
outer my mind, sah, ef Miss Sally is in de re- 
sumption -of visitahs at dis houah. In fac’, sah,’ 
she continued, with intensified gravity and an ex- 
aggeration of thoughtfulness as the sounds of 
Miss Sally’s hammering came shamekssly from 
the wall, * I doahn know exac’ly ef she’s engaged 
playin’ de harp, practisin’ de languages, or paint- 
in’ in oil and watah colours, o’ givin’ audiences to 
offishals from de Court House. It might be de 
houah for de one or de odder. But I’ll com- 
municate wid her, sah, in the budwoh on de uppah 
flo’.’ She backed dexterously, so as to keep the 
slipper behind her, but with no diminution of 
dignity, out of a side door. In another moment 
the hammering ceased, followed by the sound of 
rapid whispering without ; a few tiny twigs and 
leaves slowly rustled to the ground, and then 



SALLY nOlVS 31 

there complete silence. He ventured to 
walk to the fateful window again. * 



SIIR RECRIV'KI) IT WITH A STILL GREATER ACCESS OK OIGNITV 

Presently he heard a faint rustle at the other 
end of the room, and he turned. A sudden 



SALLY DOWS 


3 ® 

tronulousncM swept along his pulses, and then 
they seemed to pause ; he drew a deep breath that 
was almost a sigh, and remained motionless. 

He had no preconceived idea of falling 
in love with Miss Sally at first sight, nor had 
he dreamed such a thing possible. Even the 
girlish face that he had seen in the locket, 
although it had stirred him with a singular 
emotion, had not suggested that. And the ideal 
h(! had evolved from it was never a potent 
presence. Hut the e.xquisitely pretty face and 
figure before him, although it might have l)een 
[)aintcd from his own fancy of her, was still some- 
thing more and .something unexpected. * Ml that 
had gone before had never prepjired him for the 
beautiful girl who now stood there. It was a poor • 
explanation to say that Miss Sally was four or five 
years older than her picture* an<l that later 
experiences, enlarged capacity, a different life, 
and new ambition had impres.sed her youthful 
face with a refined mobility ; it was a weird fancy 
to imagine that the blood of those who had died 
for her had in some vague, mysterious way im- 
parted an actual fascination to ht;r, and he dis- 
missed it. But even the most familiitr spectator, 
like Sophy, could see that Miss Sally had the 
softest pink complexion, the silkiest hair, that 
looked as the floss of the Indian corn might 



SAJLLY DOWS 33 

look if ^curled, or golden a^i%r if 

materialised, 'and eyes that w#e Si bright grey 
harmony with both ; that the ffock of i'^ndia 
nmslin, albeit home made, fitted her figure pel*-' 
fectly-— from the azure bows on her shoulders to 
the ribbon around her waist — and that the hem 
of its billowy skirt showed a foot which had the 
reputation of being, the smallest foot s6uth of 
Mason and Dixon’s Line ! ‘ But it was some- 
thing more intangible than this which kept Court- 
land breathless and silent. 

‘ I’m not Miss Miranda Dows,’ said the vision 
with a frankness that was half childlike and half 
practical, as she extended a little hand, ‘ but I can 
talk “ fahm ” wifij yo’ about as well as -aunty, and I 
reckon from what Major Reed says heah,’ holding 
up the letter between her fingers, ‘ as long as yo’ 
get the persimmons yo’ don’t mind what kind o’ 
pole yo’ knock ’em down with.’ 

The voice that carried this speech was so fresh, 
clear and sweet that I am afraid Courtland thought 
little of its bluntness or its conventional trans- 
gressions. But it brought him his own tongue 
quite unemotionally and quietly. ‘ I don’t know 
what was in that note. Miss Dows, but I can 

* The old boundary line between the free State of Pennsylvania 
and the Slave States of Maryland and Virgmit— run by two 
Engltsh surveyors in 1763 and 1767, afterwardf a theme and 
catchword of political controversy. 


O 



34 » ; SALLY DOWS 

fiardly bdieve that Major Reed ever, put my 
present felicity quite in that way.’ 

Miss Sally laughed. Then with a charming 
exaggeration she waved her little hand towards 
the sofa 

‘There! Yo’ naturally wanted a little room 
for that, co’nnle, but now that yo’ve got it off — 
<ind mighty pooty it was too — yo’ can sit down. 
And with that she sank down at one end of the 
sofa, prettily drew aside a white billow of. skirt so 
as to leave ample room for Courtland at the other, 
and clasping her fingers over her knees, looked 
demurely expectant. 

‘ But let me hope that t am not disturbing 
you unseasonably,’ said Courtland, catching sight 
of the fateful little slipper beneath her .skirt, and 
remembering the window. ‘ I was so preoccupied 
in thinking of your aunt as the business manager 
of these estates that I quite forgot that she might 
have a lady’s hours for receiving.’ 

‘We haven’t got any company hours,’ said 
Miss Sally, * and we haven’t just now any servants 
for company mimners, for we’re short-handed in 
the fields and barns. When yo’ came I was 
nailing up the laths for the vines outside because 
we couldn’t spare carpenters from the factory. 
But,' she added, with a faint accession of mischief 
in her voice, ‘ yo’ came to talk about the fahm ? ’ 



SALLY DOWS 3S 

‘ Yes,* said Courtland rising, ‘ but not to inter- 
rupt the work on it. Will you let me help you 
nail up the laths on the wall ? I have some 
experience that way, and we can talk as we work. , 
Do oblige me ! ’ 

The young girl looked at him brightly. 

‘ Well, now, there’s nothing mean aboi|t that. 
Y o’ mean it for sure ? ’ 

‘ Perfectly. I shall feel so much less as if 1 
was enjoying your company under false pretences.’ 

‘ Yo’ just wait here, then.’ 

She lumped from the sofa, ran out of the 
room, ah4 returned presently, tying the strings of 
a long striped cotton blouse — evidently an extra 
one of Sophy’s — behind her back as she re- 
turned. It was gathered under her oval chin by 
a tape also tied behind her, while her fair hair 
was tucked under the usual red bandana hand- 
kerchief of the negro housemaid. It is scarcely 
necessary to add that the effect was bewitching. 

‘ But,’ said Miss Sally, eyeing her guest’s 
smartly-fitting frock-coat, ‘ yo’ll spoil yo’r pooty 
clothes, ' sure ! Take off yo’r coat — don't mind 
me — and work in yo’r shirt sleeves.’ 

Courtland obediently flung aside his coat and 
followed his active hostess through the French 
; window to the platform outside. Above them a 
wooden ledge or cornice, projecting several inches, 



46 1 ’ SALLY DOWS 

fan the Wfiole length of the building. 4t was on 
this that Miss Sally had evidently found a foot- 



l\'ma IHK STRINGS i>F A LONG STRIFES C<5'rrON BLOUSE 

hold while she was nailing up a trellis .work of 
laths between it and the windows of the second^ 
floor. Courtland found the ladder, mounted to 


SALLY DOWS 


37 


the ledge, followed by the girl, who 

smilingly waived his proffer^ to help her 
up, and the two gravely set to Work, But in 
the intervals of hammering and tying up tbe vines 
Miss Sally’s tongue was not idle. Her talk wa$ 
as fresh, as quaint,, as original as hprself, and yet 
so practical and , to the purpose 6f Courtland’s 
visit, as to excuse his delight in it and j^er own 
fascinating propinquity. Whether she stopped to 
take a nail from between her pretty lips when 
she spoke to him, or whether holding on perilously 
with one hand |;o the trellis while she gesticulated 
with the harnmqf, pointing out the divisions of 
the plantation from her coign of vantage, he 
thought she , was as clear and convincing to his 
‘intellect as she was distracting to his senses. 

She told him how the war had broken up their 
old home in.«Pin«ville, sending her father to serve 
in the Confederate councils of Richmond, and leav- 
ing her aunt and herself to manage the property 
alone ; how the estate had been devastated, the 
house destroyed, and how they had barely time 
to remove a few»valuables ; htJw, although she had 
always been opposed to secession, and the war, 
she had not gone north, preferring to stay with 
her people,, and take with them the ^punishment 
nS. the folly she had foreseen. How after the war 
and her father’s death, she and h|fr aunt had • 



SALLY DOWS 


determined to ‘ reconstruct themselves ' a^ter their 
own fashion on this bit of property, which had 
survived their fortunes because it had always 
been considered valueless and unprofitable for 
negro labour. How at first they had undergone 
serious difficulty, through the incompetence and 
ignorahce of the freed labourer, and the equal 
apathy and prejudice of their neighbours. How 
they had gradually succeeded with the adoption of 
new methods and ideas, that she herself had con- 
ceived, which she now briefly and clearly stated. 
Courtland listened with a new, breathless, and 
almost superstitious interest : they were his own 
theories — perfected and demonstrated ! 

‘ But you must have had capital for this ? ’ 

‘ Ah, yes ! that was where they were fortunate. ' 
There were some French cousins with whom she 
had once stayed in Paris, who ad\janced enough 
to stock the estate. There were some English 
friends of her father’s, old blockade runners — 
who had taken shares, provided them with more 
capital and imported some skilled labourers, and 
a kind of steward or ag^nt to represent them. 
But they were getting- bn, and perhaps it was 
better for their reputation with their neighbours 
that they had not been beholden to the “ No’th.” 
Seeing a cloud pass, over Courtland’s face, the 
young lady added with an affected sigh, and the 



39 


SALLY DOWS 
* * 

first toucj? of feminine coquetry which had invaded 

their wholesome camaraderie f S i 

‘Yo’ ought to have foilnd us out ^fore, 
co’nnle.’ 

For an impulsive moment, Courtland felt like 
telling her then and there the story of his romantic- 
quest ; but the reflection that they were standing 
on a narrow ledge with no room for the emotions, 
and that Miss Sally had just put a nail in her 
mouth and a start might, be dangerous, checked 
him. To this qiay be added a new jealousy of 
her previous experiences, which he had not felt 
before. M evertheless he managed to say with some 
effusion : 

‘ But I hope we are not too late now. I think 
my principals are quite ready and able to buy up 
anf English or French investor now or to come.’ 

‘Yo’ m^ht,try yo’ hand on that one,’ said 
Miss Sally, pointing to a young fellow who had 
just emerged from the office and was crossing the 
courtyard. ‘ He’s the English agent.' 

He was square shouldered and round headed, 
fresh and clean looking in his white flannels, but 
with an air of being utterly distinct and alien to 
everything around him, and mentally and morally 
irreconcilable to it. As he passed the house he 
glanced shyly at it ; his brightened and his 
manner became self-conscious as he taught sight 



SALLY DOWS 


Ad 

of the young girl, but changed again ^hen he 
saw her companion. Courtland likewise was 
^nscious of a certain uneasiness ; it was one 
thing to be helping Miss Sally alone, but certainly 
another thing to be doing so under the eye of a 
stranger ; and I am afraid that he met the stony 
observation of the Englishman with an equally, 
cold stare. Miss Sally alone retained her languid 
ease and self-possession. She called out : ‘ Wait 
a moment, Mr. Champney,’ slipped lightly down 
the ladder, and leaning against it with one foot 
on its lowest rung awaited his approach. 

‘ I reckoned yo’ might be passing by,’ she 
bjud, as he came forward. ‘Co’nnle Courtland,’ 
with an explanatory wave of the hammer towards 
her companion, who remained erect and slightly 
stiffened on the cornice, ‘ is no relation to those 
figures along the fric-ce of (he Redlands’ Court 
House, but a No’th'n officer, a friend of Major 
Reed’s, who’s come down here to look after So’th’n 
proj>erty ^ for some No’th’n capitalists. Mr. 
Champney,’ she continued, turning and lifting her 
eyes to Courtland as she indicated Champney 
with her h<unmer, ‘when he isn’t talking Eng- 
lish, seeing English, thinking Ei^lish, dressing 
English, and wondering why God didn’t make 
everything English, is trying to do the same % 
his folks. Mr. Champney, Co’nnle Courtland. 



SALLV DOm 


4t 


Co’nnle Courtland, Mr. Cham|)iiey!’ The two 
men bowed formally. ‘ And'nip^, Co’nnle, if yo’ll 
come down, Mr. .Champney will show yo’^^ round 
the fahm. When yo’ve got through yo’ll find 
me here at work.' . 

Courtland would have preferred, and half- 
looked for her company and commentary on this 
round of inspection, but he concealed hil ^sap- 
pointment and descended. It did not exactly 
please him that Champney seemed relieved, and 
appeared to accept him as a 6ond fide stranger who 
could not ppsqibly interfere with any confidential 
relations that he might have with Miss Sally, 
Nevertheless he met th'e Englishman’s offer to 
accompany him with polite gratitude, and they left 
■ the house tt^ethcr. 

In 16ss than an hour they returned. It had 
not even taken that time for Courtland to discover 
that the real improvements and the new methods 
had originated with Miss Sally ; that she was, 
virtually th^ controlling influence there, and that 
she was probably retarded rather than assisted by 
the old«fashioned and traditional conservatism of 
the company of which Champney was steward. 
It was equally plain, however, that the young 
fdlow was dimly conscious of ’this, an4 was frankly 
communicative about it. 

‘You see, over there they work /things in a 



4 ® 


SALLY DOWS 


different way, and, by Jove ! they can’t understand 
that there is any other, don’t you know ? They’re 
always wigging me as if 1 could help it, although 
I’ve tried to explain the nigger business, and all 
that, don’t you know? They want Miss Dows 
to refer her plans to me, and expect me to report 
on dtem, and then they’ll submit them to the 
Board and wait for its decision. Fancy Miss 
Dows doing that,! But, by Jove ! they can’t 
conceive of her di ali over there, don’t you 
know ? ’ 

‘ Which Miss Dows do you mean ? ’ asked 
Courtland drily. 

‘ Miss Sally, of course,’ said the youftg fellow 
briskly. ‘ She manages everything — her aunt 
included. She can make those niggers work' 
when no one else can, a word or smile feoi^ her is 
enough. She can make terms with and 

contractors — her own terms too — when they won’t 
look at my figures. By Jove! she even gets 
points out of those travelling agents and inventors, 
don’t you know, who come along the road with 
patents and samples. She got one of those 
lightning-rod and wire fence men to show her how 
to put up an arbour for her trailing roses. Why, 
when I first saw you’ up on the cornice, I thoi^ht 
you were some other chap that she’d asked — dbn’t 
you know — that is, at first, of course ! — you know 



SALLY DOWS 


43 


what I mean — ha, by Jove! — before we were 
introduced, don’t you know.’ 

‘ I think I offered to help Miss Dows,’ said 
Courtland, a quickness that he at once 

regretted. 

‘ So did he^ don’t you know 1 Miss Sally does 
not ask anybody. Don’t you see ? a fellow don’t 
like to stand by and see a young lady lik€ her 
doing svich work.’ Vaguely, aware of some 
infelicity fo his speech, he awkWardly turned the 
subject, ‘ jljdon’t think I shall stay here long, 
myself’ ^ 

‘ You ^)ect to return to England?’ asked 
Courtland*. 

‘ Oh, no ! But I shall go out of the company’s 
service and ^ my own hand. There’s a good 
bit of land about three miles from here that’s in 
the market, and I think I could make something 
out of it. A fellow ought to settle down ahd be 
his own master,’ he answered tentatively, ‘ eh ?’ 

‘ But how will Miss Dows be able to spare 
you ? ’ asked Courtland, uneasily conscious that he 
was assuming an indifference. 

‘ Oh, I’m not much use to her, don’t you know 
— at least not here. But I might, if I had my own 
land and if we were neighbours. !• tbld you she 
runs the place, no matter who’s here, or whose 
money is invested.’ ; 



44 SAIJ.Y nows 

‘ I fwesunMS you are speaking now pf young 
Miss Dows ? ’ said Courtland drily. 

‘ Miss Sally — of course always,’ said 
Champney simply. ‘ She runs the shop.’ 

‘Were there not some French investors — 
s^tions of Miss Dows ? Does anybody repre- 
sent ? ’ asked Courtland pointedly. 

Yet he was not quite prepared for the naive 
change in his companion’s face. ‘ No. There 
was a sort of French cousin who used to be a good 
deal to the fore, don’t you know ? But f rather 
fancy he didn’t come here to look after the pro- 
perty', returned Champney with a quick laxigh. 

‘ I think the aunt must have written to liis friends, 
for they “ called him off,” and I don’t think Miss 
Sally broke her heart about him. .She’s not that 
sort of girl — eh ? She could have her pick of the 
State if she went in for that soiif of thing-^-eh ? ’ 
Although this was exactly what Gotrf;daEnd was 
thinking, it pleased him to answer in a distrait 
sort of fashion, 'Certainly, I should tMrtt so,’ and 
to relapse into an apparently bu^iss abstrac- 
tion. ; .. • • 

• I think I won’t go in,‘ continu^ Champney 
as they neared the house again. ‘I suppose 
you’ll have something more to say to Miss Dows. 
If there’s anything else you want of me, come 
to the office. But rV// know> And-r-er — er— 4f 



SAIXr DOW'S 


4 


45 


you’re— ir— staying .U% in ’’this ^ of the 
country, ride over and look meVjpl don’t you know ? 
and have a smoke and a julep ; I have a lk>y who 
knows how to mix them, and I’ve some old brandy 
sent me from the other side. Good-bye.’ 

More awkward in his kindliness than in his 
simple business confidences, but apparently equally 
honest in both, he shook Couftland’s haitd and 
walked away. Courtland turned towards the 
house. He had seen the form and its improve- 
ments; he had found some of his own ideas 
practicallv 4ii»counted ; clearly there was nothing 
left for him* to do but to thank his hostess and take 
his leave. B\it he felt far more uneasy than when 
he had arrived ; and there was .a singular sense 
of incompleteness in his visit that he could not 
crttirely account for. His conversation with 
Champney had complicated — he knew not why-- 
his previous thesories of Miss Dows, and although 
he was half conscious that this had nothing to do 
with the business that brought him there, he tried 
to think that it had. If Miss Sally was really — a 
— a— distracting element to contiguous man, it 
was certainly something to be considered in a 
matter of business of which she would take a 
managerial part. It was true that Champney had 
said she was ' not that sort of girl,' but this was 
the testimony of one who was cleat^ under her 



SALLY DOWS 


influence. He entered the house through the 
open French window. The parlour was deserted. 
He walked through the front hall and porch ; no 
one was there. He lingered a few moments, a 
slight chagrin beginning to mingle with his uneasi- 
ness. She might have been on the look-out for him. 
She or Sophy must have seen him returning. He 
would ring for Sophy, and leave his thanks and 
regrets for her mistress. He looked for a bell, 
touched it, but on being confronted with Sophy, 
changed his mind and asked to set Miss Dows. 
In the interval between her departure and the 
appearance of Miss Sally he resolved to do the 
very thing which he had dismissed from his 
thoughts but an hour before as ill-timed and, 
doubtful. He had the photograph and letter in 
his pocket ; he would make them his excuse for 
personally taking leave of her. 

She entered with her fair eyebrows lifted in a 
pretty surprise. 

‘ I declare to goodness, I thought yo’d ridden 
over to the red barn and gone home from there. 

I got through my work on the vines earlier than 
I thought. One of Judge Garret's nephews 
dropped in in time. to help me with the last row. 
Yo’ needn’t have troubled yo’self to send up for 
me for mere company manners, but Sophy says 
yo’ looked sort of anxious and particular ’’ when 



SALX-y DOWS 47 

yo’ askeclfor me— so I suppose y»*S«pnt to see me 
for something.’ " ' * 

Mentally objurgating Sophy, and widi am. un- 
pleasant impression in his mind of the unknown 
neighbour who had been helping Miss Sally in his^ 
place, he nevertheless tried to collect Wmself gal- 
lantly. * 

‘ I don’t know what .my expression conveyed to 
Sophy,’ he said, with a smile, ‘ but I trust that 
what I have to tell you may be interesting enough 
to make you /orget my second intrusion.’ He 
paused, and* still smiling, continued: ‘ For more 
than three years, Miss Dows, you have more or 
less occupied my thoughts ; and although we have 
actually met to-day only for the first time, I have 
during that time carried your image with me con- 
stantly. Even this meeting, which was only the 
result of an tccident, I had been seeking for three 
years. I find you here under your own peaceful 
vine and fig-tree, and yet three years ago you 
came to me out of the thunder-cloud of battle.’ 

‘ My good gracious ! ’ said Miss Sally. 

She had been clasping her knee with her linked 
fingers, but separated them and leaned backward 
on the sofa with affected consternation, but an ex- 
pression of growing amusement in her bright eyes. 
Courdand saw the mistake of his tohevbut it was ^ 
too late to change it now. He handed her the 



48 4 - * SALLY DOWS 

tocket and \he letter, and briefly, and perhaps a 
little more seriously, recounted the incident that 
hafjl put him in possession of them. But he en- 
tirely supprei^d the more dramatic and ghastly 
details, amd his own superstition and strange pre- 
possession towards her. 

Hiss Sally took the articles without a tremor, 
or the least deepening or paling of the delicate 
faint suffusion of her cheek.- When she had glanced 
over the letter, which appeared to be brief, she 
said, with smiling, half-pitying tranquillity : 

‘ Yes! — it aw that poor Chet Brooks, sure! 
I heard that he was killed at Snake River. It 
was just like him to rush in and get killed the first 
poj) ! And all for nothing too — pure foolish- 

I ♦ 

ness ! 

Shocked, yet relieved, but uneasj? under both 
sensations, Courtland went on hlindly : 

‘ But he was not the only cme, Miss Dows. 
There was another man picked up who also had 
your picture.' 

‘ Yes— ‘Joyce Masterton. They sent it to tae. 
But you didn’t kill Mm too ? ’ 

‘ 1 don’t know that I personally killed either,’ 
he said, a little coldly. He paused, and continued 
with a gravity which he could not help feeling very 
inconsistent and even hidtcrous : ' They were brave 
men, Mim Dows.’ 



SA14^Y DGWS 


‘ To Jjave worn my pic^re ? ’ iaS<i¥jss Sally, 
brightly. 

‘ T# have thought they had aomirch to liV<ffor, 
and yet ib have willingly laid down their liv*^ for 
what they believed was right.’ 

‘ Yo’ didn’t go huntin’ me for thpee years to - 
tell me, a So’th’n girl, that So'th’n men know how 
to fight, did yo’, co’nnle ? ’ returned the youn^ lady, 
with the slightest lifting of hpr head and drooping 
of her blue veined lids in a divine hauteur. ‘ They 
were always ready enough for that, even among 
themselves. K yras much easier for these pooah 
lx)ys to fight a thing out, than think it out, or work 
it out. Vo? folks in the No’th learned to do all 
three ; that s where you got tlie grip on us. Yo’ 
look surprised, co’nnle .? ’ 

‘ I didn’t expect you would look at it — quite 
m— *in — thatf^way/ said Courtland, awkwardly. - , 

‘ I am sorry ! disappointed yo’ after yo’d taken 
such a heap 6’ trouble,’ returned the young lady, 
with a puzzling assumption of .humility as she' rose, 
and .smoothed out her skirts, ‘ but I couldn’t know 
exactly what yo’ might be expecting after three 
years ; if I Aae(, I might have put on mo'ning.’ 
She stopped and adjusted a straying tendril of her 
hair with the sharp corner of the dead man’s 
letter, ' But I thank yo’, all the same, co’nnle. 
It was real good in yo’ to think of ^ting these 




SALLY DOWS Ji 

thin^ov«r here.’ And ^held ter hand 

Courtland took it with "the sickening conscious- 
ness that for the last five minutes he had been an 
unconscionable ass. He could not prolong the 
interMew, after shp had so significantly risen. If 
he had only taken his leave and kept the fetter and 
locket ^Of a later visit, jjerhaps when they Ivere 
ol^r friends! It was too late. now. He bent 
over her hand for a ttioment, again thanked her 
for her dbuftesy, and withdrew. A moment later 
she heard the* receding beat of his horse’s hoofs 
on the road. » 

She opened the drawer of a brass-handled 
cabinet, and after a moment’s critical survey of 
her picture in the dead man’s locket, tossed it and 
the letter in the recesses of the drawer. Then 
she stopped, l%moved her little slipper from her 
foot, looked at that too, thoughtfully, and called 
j Sophy I ’ 

‘ Miss Sally ? ’ said the girl, reappearing at the 
door. 

‘ Are you sure yOu did not move that ladder ? ’ 

‘ 1 ’dare to goodness. Miss Sally, I never teched 

it?' . . : 

Miss Sally directed a critical glance at her 
handmaiden’s red coifed head. ‘ No,’ she said to 
herself softly, ‘ it felt nicer than wool, anyway ! ’ 

E » 



SALLY DOWS 


5 » 


CHAPTER in 

In spite of the iWhward termination of his visit — 
or perhi^s beccmse of it — Courtland called again 
at me plantation within the week. But this time 
he was accompanied by Drummond, and was re- 
ceived by Mi.ss Miranda Dows, a tall, aquiline- 
nosed spinster of fifty, wliose old-time politeness 
had become slightly affected, and whose old beliefs 
had given way to a half cynical acceptance of new 
facts. Mr. Drummond, delighted with the farm 
and its management, was no less fascinated by 
Miss Sally, while Courtland was now discreet 
enough to divide^ his attentions between her and 
her aunt, with the result that he far from 
participating in Champneyjs conviction of Miss 
Miranda’s unimportance. To the freedmen she 
still represented the oW implacable task-mistresa, 
and it was evident that they superstitfously be- 
lieved that she still retained a vt^e power of 
over-riding the Fourteenth An^endment at her 
pleasure, and was only to be restrained by the 
mediation of the good-humoqred and sensible Miss 
Sally. Courtland was quick to see the value of 
this influence in the transition state of the freed- 
men^ and pointed it out to his principal. Drum- 



S3 


'SALlV DOWS 

)k 

mond’s previous doufet^ ^d 'sci^ti^iaai, already 
weal^ed by Miss Sally’s' faS^H^iotts, ^vanished 
entti^ly at this prospect of^betveficiaHli uti^ng 
these lingering evife of slavery. He #as convinced,'^ 
he was even enthusiastic. The foreign investors 
were men to be bought out ; the estdt<^ improved 
and enlarged by the company, -and the mir owners 
retained in the management and control, * Like 
most prejudiced m^sj^rummond’s convemon was 
sudden and extrei|M®d, bdng a practt^l man, 
was at once acted At a second a^ third 

interview th# prelimnBries were arranged, and in 
three weeks from Courtland’s first visit, the Dows’ 
plantation and pari of Major Reed’s were merged 
in the ‘ Drummond Syndicate,’ and placed beyond 

t nancial pncfertairtty. Courtland remained to 
:presenffl|fee company as superintend^t at Red- 
lands, aniP^th the transfer of the English* invesf- 
mcnts Champney retired, as he had suggested, to 
a^ smaller venture of his own, on a plantation a 
few miles dij^^t which the company had been 
upable to se<Ae. 

During t^ interval Courtland had frequent 
interviews wim Miss Sally, and easy and unre- 
strained access to her presence. . He had never 
again erred on the side of romance or emotion ; he 
never agmn referred to the infelix letter and 
phott^raph ; and, without being obligee^ to confine 



S4 


SALLY DOfV^ 


himself strictly to buskess affairs, he had main- 
tained an even, , quiet, neighbourly intercourse 
wik her. Much of this was the result of his own 
self-control and soldierly training, and gave little 
indication of the deeper feeling that he was 
conscious Jay >eneath it. At times he caught 
the younrghrs eyes fixed upon him with a mis- 
c^vous curiosity. A strange thrill went through 
hik; there are few situations so subtle and 
dangerous as the accidental confidences and under- 
standings of two young people of opposite sex, 
‘Veil t lough the question of any sentimental in- 
clmation be still in abeyance. Courtland knl;w 

/ '■^'"embered the too serious 
atutude he had taken towards her past. She 

might laugh at it. and even resent it, but she 
It, /emembered it, knew that ^ did, and 
this precious knowledge nas confined to them- 
selves. It was in their minds when there was a 
pause in their more practical and conventional 
convei^tion, and was even rfevealed in the 

ert at the nght moment her mischievously 
smiling eyes. Once she went further. Courtland 
had just finished ^explaining to her a plan for 
sub«.tuu„g small farm buildings for the 
ha^fHiktivated g^den-patches dear to the negro 
.field hand, and had laid down the drawings ^on 




F1XB0 HER BRIGHT GREV EYES 0I| HIS SERIOUS PACE 


y I VOW and protest^ co’nnle/ she said^ dropping 
into one of the quaint survivals of ai| old-time 


wws 


S6 


tin tier people, nevtr 
give yo’self up to bu$iness, 
do, when I first met yo’ that 

‘iWby, what did you think me?’ he asked 
quickly. 

Miss Sally, who had a Southern aptitude for 
gesture, took one litde hand from • behind her, 
twirled it above her head with a pretty air of 
disposing of some airy nothing in a presumably 
masculine fashion, and said : ‘ Oh, that.' 

‘ I am afraid I did not impress you then as a 
very practical man,' he said, with a faint colour. 

‘ I thought you roosted rather high# co’nnle, 
to pick up many worm.s in the mo’ning. But,’ 
she added with a dazzling smile, ‘ I reckon from 
what yo’ said about the photograph, yto’ thought 
/ wasn’t exactly what yo’ believed I ought to be 
either.' * 

He would have liked to telf her then ‘and 
there that he would have been content if those 
bright beautiful eyes had never kindled with any- 
thing but love or womanly aspiraticm ; that that 
soft, lazy, caressing voice 1^ never been lifted 
beyond the fife-side or dome^ic circle ; that the 
sunny, tendrillcd hair and pink ears had never 
inclined to anything but whispered admiration ; 
and that the graceful, lithe, erect figure, so tnde- 


al^edyo obuidjust 



s4ttY mw$' 

1 

pendent jnd , 3 elf-cohfcaiin^ had l^en wiafeid to 
lean only upon his“i<W fci‘ si4>poiH»'*\He was 
ccmscious that this«had Ijeen to his miOi^hda he. 
first saw her; he was equally cdnsdonS tto‘ she 
was more bewilderingly fascinating to Mm m her 
present inaccessible intelligence and practicality. 

‘I confess,’ he said, looking into'hejj'^yes 
with a vague smile, ‘ I did not expect you Vould 
be so forgetful of some one who had evidently 
cared for you.’ 

‘ Meaning Mr. Chet Brooks, or Mr. Joyce 
Masterton. ©r bpth. That’s like most yo’ men, 
co’nnle. Yo’ reckon because a girl pleases you 
she ought to be grateful all her life — and yo’rs 
too! Yo’ think different now! But yo’ needn’t 
act up to it' (dfuite so much.’ She made a little 
deprecating gesture with her disengaged hand as 
if to ward dff an^ retaliating gallantry. ' I ain’t 
speaking for myself, co’nnle.. Yo’ and me are 
good enough friends. But the girls round here 
think yo’re a trifle too much taken up with rice 
and niggers. And looking at jt even in yo’r 
light, co’nnle, it ain’t business. Yo’ want to keep 
scaight with Major Reed, so it would be just as 
well to square the Major's woman fol|ts. Tavy 
and Gussie Reed ain’t exactly poisonous, co’nnle, 
and yo’ might see one or* the' odier M>md fr«Mn 
church next Sunday. The Sunday ifter that, 



S8 SAlZY DOWS 

ju^ to show ^o’ ain’t particular, and thgt yo’ go 
in for being a regular beau, yo’ might walk home 
with me. Don't be frightened^ I’ve got a better 
gown than this. , It’s a new one, just come home 
from Louisville, and I’ll wear it for the occasion.’ 

He did not dare to say that the quaint frock 
she was then wearing— a plain ‘ checked ’ house- 
hold gingham used for children’s pinafores, with 
its ribbons of the same pattern, gathered in bows 
at the smart apron pockets, had become a part of 
her beauty, for he was already hopelessly conscious 
that she was lovely in anything, and he might be 
impelled to say so. He thanked her gravely and 
earnestly, but without gallantry or effusion, and 
had the satisfaction of seeing the mischief in her 
eyes increase in proportion to his seriousness, and 
heard her say with affected concern ; ‘ Bear up, 
co’nnle ! Don’t let it worry yo’ till the time 
comes,’ and took his leave. 

On the following Sunday he ’ was present at 
the Redlands Episcopal Church, and after the 
service stood wjth outward composure but some 
inward chafing among the gaUant youth who, 
after the local fashion, had ranged themselves 
outside the doors of the building, , He was some- 
what surprised to find Mr. Champney, evidently 
as mvKih out of place as himself, but less self^ 
contained, waiting in the crowd of expect^t 



SAI±Y DOWS S9 

cavaliers Although convinqpd ^thait the young 
Englishman had come only to sef h^ss Sally, he 
was ‘ glad to shasre his awkwaw! I^^tfon "With 
another stranger, and greeted him pleasantly. > 
The Dows’ pew being nearer to the entrance than 
the Reeds’ gave up its occupanlfc fitsh* Colonel 
Courtland lifted his hat to Miss Miranda ai^ her 
niece, at the same moment that Champney moved 
forward and ranged himself beside them. Miss 
Sally catching Courtland’s eye showed the whites 
of her own in a backward glance of mischievous 
significance to indicate the following Reeds. 
When they app'-oiched; Courtland joined them, 
and findir^g himself beside Miss Octavia entered 
into conversation. Apparently the suppressed 
passion and sardonic melancholy of that dark-eyed 
young lady spurred him to a lighter, gayer humour 
even in profwrtioh as Miss Sally’s good-natured 
>eviiy and sunny practicality always made him 
serious. They presently fell to the rear with 
other couples and were soon quite alone. 

A little haughty, but tall and erect in her well- 
preserved black* grenadine dress, which gave her 
the appearance of a youthful but - implacable 
widow, Miss Reed declared sjie had nc^ seen the 
cp’nnle for ‘ a coon’s age,’ arid certainly had not 
expected to havp the honour of his company as 
long as there were niggers to be t^vated’ or 



«fO 


SALLY DOWS ■ 


painted ti> lodsik white men. She hqped that 
he atttl pa||||»4 Sally I^ws were happy ! They 
hadn’t ||Hrg«>t so far as to put up a nigger 
preacher ift ihe pl^e trf Mr. Symes, their rector, 
but shff tHhlers^ood that there was some talk of 
running '!-ymnihjll Johnson — Miss Dows’ coach- 
nmi--*i|forpRjnty judge next year ! No ! she had 
not heaiu^at the co’nnie himself huA thought of 
running for the office * He might laugh at her 
as much as he liked — he seemed to be in better 
spirits than when she first saw him — only she 
would like to know if it was ‘ No’th’n style ’ to 
laugh coming home from church ? Of course if 
it was she would have to adopt it with the F.wur- 
teenth Amendment. But, Just now, she n<H»t»d 
the folks were staring at them, and Slmy 

Dows had turned round to look. Nevertheless, 
Miss Octavia’s sallow cheek Beare|tjthe Colonel 
— the sunny side — -had uken a brunette’s 
flush, and the comers of her proud mouth were 
slightly lifted. 

‘ But, candidly. Miss Reed, don’t you think 
that you would prefer to have cJld Hannibal, whom 
you know, as coimty judge, than a stranger and 
a Northern man like tm ?’ 

a 

Miss Reed’s dark eyes glanced sideways at the 
handscHpefaceiuidelegantfigureb^eher, Some> 
thing like a saucy smile stru^ed to her thin lios. 



SALLY DOIVS 


‘I admit it We‘#^oJ|‘ bith,^ii^^wiei^ge 
our raistre^mid be in her^iWls.’ ‘f 

‘ Yo’ oJfe to make 511^ pooty spee® .to Sally 
Dows, she’^enerally mistress attend )t)6re. But,’ ' 
she added, suddenly fixing her ejp^ ©n|iiih, *how 
does it happen that yo’ ain’t walking wi^i her 
instead of that Englishman? Yo’ knm^ that 
it’s as^ plain as day that he took that land over 
there just to be near her, when he was no longer 
■ agent’ 

But Courtland was always master of himself 
and quite at ease regarding Miss Sally when not 
i» that iwf’s presence.^ ‘ You forget,’ he said 
simlingljygf&n still ’a stranger and know Ijttle 
' of the lSHK)ssip ; and if I did know it, I am 
afraidit^ bargaiq to buy up with the /anti 
Mr^QampiKy’s personal interest in the landlady.' 

'♦^o'ld have had your hands full, for I reckon 
she’s pooty heavily mortgaged in that fashion, 
already,' returned Miss Reed with more badinage 
than spitefulness in the suggestion. ‘And Mr, 
Champaey was run pooty close by a French cousin 
of hers when he was here. Yo’ haven’t gbt any 
French books to lend me, co’nnle— have yo’ ? Paw 
says you read a heap of French, ami I find it 
mig^tyhard to keep up myipraxskc sinie 1 left the 
Ctmvent at St Louts, for paw don’t Imow what 



SALLY DOWS 


sort of books tb order, and I reckon hf makes 
awftd mistakes sometimes.’ 

The conversation here turning upon polite 
literature, it appeared thcMt Miss Octavia’s French 
reading; through a shy, proud innocence and an 
imperfect knowledge of the wicked subtleties of the 
language, was somewhat broad and unconventional 
for a young lady. Courtland promised to send 
her some books, and even ventured to suggest 
some American and English novels not intensely 
‘ No’th’n ’ nor ‘ metaphysical ’ — ^according to the 
accepted Southern beliefs. A new respect and 
pitying interest in this sullen, solitary girl, cramjjed 
by tradition, and bruised rather than enlightened 
by sad experiences, came over him. He found 
himself talking quite confidentially to the lifted' 
head, arched eyebrows, and aquiline n(Mte beside 
him, and even thinking what a hantjspinehigh bred 
brother she might have been to spnK ppe. Wi^ 
they had reached the house, in compliance With 
the familiar custom, he sat down on one of the 
lower steps of the verandah, while she, shaking out 
her skirt, took a seat a step or two above him. 
This enabled him, after the languid local fashion, 
to lean on his elbow and gaze up into the eyes 
of the young lady, while she with wjual languor 
looked down upon him. But in the present 
instance Miss Reed jeaned forward suddenly, and 




64 


fiALLY DOWS 


Jar^Hgf a shai|) quick glance into his ,very con- 
scickijtiie$s, said t 

‘ ilSitd yo’ mean to say, co’nnle, there’s nothing 
between yo’ and Sally Dows?’ 

Cburmnd neither flushed, trembled, grew 
confused, lior prevaricated. 

are good friends, I think,’ he replied 
quietjly, without evasion or hesitation, 

Miss Reed looked at him thoughtfully. ‘ 1 
reckon that is so— and no more. And that’s why 
yo’ve been so lucky in everything,’ she .said 
slowly. 

‘ I don’t think I quite understahd,' returned 
Courtland, smiling. ‘ Is this a paradox— or a 
consolation ? ' 

‘ It’s the tmth', said Miss Reed, gravely. 
‘Those who try to be anything moft to Sally 
Dows lose their luck.’ 

‘ That is— are rejected by her. Is she really 
so relentless ? ’ continued Courtland, gaily. 

‘ 1 mean that they lose their luck in every- 
thing. Something is sure to happen. And she 
can’t help it either.’ 

‘ Is this a Sibylline warning, MiJss Reed?’ 

' No. It’s nigger superstition. It came from 
Mamipy J udy, Sally’s old nurse. It’s part of their 
regular Hoo doo.‘ She bewitdied Miss Sally 

' Nwtro wkdiaaft 5 fiom < UMobaJafy, 



SALLY DOWS 65 

when she*was a baby, sp that eveiybotiy is bwd 
to Jkr as long as they care for %er^ and she isn't 
bound to in any way. All their luck goes 
to her as sQon as the spell is on them,’ she added 

darkly. ' 

‘ I think I know the rest,’ retumyed^ourtland' 
with still greater solemnity. ‘You gather the 
buds of the witch hazel in April when the moon 
is full. You then pluck th*-ee hairs from the 
young lady’s right eyebrow when she isn’t look- 
ing — 

‘ Yo’ c an laugh, co’nnle, for yo’re lucky — be- 
cause yo’re free.’ 

‘ I’ni not so sure of that,’ he said gallantly, ‘ for 
I ought to be i;id^g at this moment over to the 
Infirmary tb visit my Sunday sick. If being 
ma(^, to pleasantly forget one’s time and duty is 
a sign of witchcraft I am afraid Mammy Judy’s 
enchantments were not confined to only one 
• Southern young lady.’ 

The sound of quick footsteps on the gravel 
path caused them both to look up. A surly- 
looking young fellow, ostentatiously booted and 
spurred, and carrying a heavy raw hide riding- 
whip in his swinging hand, was approaching them. 
Deliberately, yet with uneasy self-consciousness, 
goring the presence of Courtland, he nodded 
abruptly to Miss Reed, ascended the ste^, brushed 



SALLY DOfVS 


66 

paiit them both without pausing, and entered the 
house. 

‘ Isthatyo’r manners, Mi'. Tom ? ’ cdled the 
young lady after him, a slight flush rising to her^ 
sallow dieek. The young man muttered some- 
thing frtwii ^e hall which Courtland did not catch. 

‘ It*# Cousin Ton) Higbee,’ she explained half 
discMinf&lly. ‘ He’s had sbme ugliness with his 
horse, I reckon ; but paw ought to teach him how 
to behave. And — I don’t think he lik'es No’th’n 
men,’ she added gravely. 

Courtland, who had kept his temper with his 
full understanding of the intruder’s ; meaning, 
smiled as he took Miss Reed’s hand, in parting. 
‘That’s quite enoagh explanation, and I don’t 
know why it shouldn't be even an apo|ta^-' 

Yet the incident left little impressii^^^ him 
as he strolled back to Redlands. I t was not the 
first time he had tasted the dregs of former sec-; 
tional hatred in incivility and discourte^, but m it 
seldom came from his old personal antagonists — 
the soldiers — and was confined to the callow 
youth, previous non-combatants and politicians, 
he could afford to overlook' it He did not see 
Miss Sally during the following Wfeek.' 



SALLY DOIVS »7 


dll after: lyi 

On the next Sunday he was f.t church. ; 

But he had perhaps accented Ihe |o<i;asion by ' 
driving there in a > light buggy behind p /ast 
thoroughbred, possibly selected more to th4 tiste 
of a smart cavalry officer ^ha,n an- agricultural 
superintendent He' was already 'Sn a side pew, 
his eyes dreamily -fixed on the prayer-book ledge 
before hint. |rhen there was a rustle at the church 
door, and a" thrill of curiosity and admiration 
passed over the expectant cong^gation. It was 
the entrance of the Dows party. Miss Sally v?ell 
to the fore. ‘She was in her new clothes, the 
latest fashion in Louisville, the latest but two in 
Paris and NJhv York. 

It was otter twfenty years ago. I shall not im- 
^ril the effect of that lovely vision by recalling to 
the eye of to-day a fashion of yesterday. Enough, 
that it. enabled her to set her sweet face, and 
vajxjury golden hair in a horseShoe frame of ddi- 
cate flowers, and to lift her oval chin put of a be- 
wildering mpt of tulle. Nor did 'a certain light 
polonaise conceal the outlines of her^diarming 
figure. Ev^ those who wjere consigned to 
whisper' to eadi trthear that ‘ Miss Ss^ly^must ‘be 



68 


ULLY DOWS 


now going on twenty-five/ did so because she 
still carried, the slender graces of seventeen. ' The 
oi^an swelled as* if to welcome her ; as she took 
her seat a ray of sunlight, that would have been 
cruel and sdkrching to any other complexion, 
drifted across the faint pink of her cheeksi and 
nestling fn her nebulous hair became itself trans- 
figured. A few stained-glass Virtues on the win- 
dows did not come out of this effulgence as 
triumphantly, Ad it was small wonder that the 
devotional eyes of the worshippers wandered from 
them to the face Of Sally Dows. 

When the service was over, as the congrega- 
tion filed slowly into the aisle, Courtland slipped 
mutely behind her. As she reached the porch he 
.sa d in an undertone : ‘ I brought my jiorse and 
huggy. I thought you might possibly allow me 
to drive ’ But he was stopped by a distress- 

ful knitting of her golden brows. * No,’ Ae said 
quickly, but firmly, ‘ you must not — it won’t do.’ . 
As Courtland hesitated in momentary perplexity, 
she smiled sweetly ; ‘ We’ll walk roqhd by the 
cemetery if you like, U will take about as long as 
a drive.' Courtland vanished, gave hurried in- 
structions and a dollar to a lounging negro, and 
rejoined Miss Sally as the delight^ and proud 
freedman drove out of the gate. Miss Sally 
heaved a slight sigh as the gall^t equipj^e passed. 



SALLY DOWS 


69 


‘ It was ji mighty pooty turn-out,, co’nhle, and 
have just admhfid to go, but it**^wpi!fld ihavt; been 
rather hard on the other folks. There’s the Reeds 
and and Robertsons that are top pooah 

to keep blood horses, and too proud to ride behind 
anything else; It wouldn’t be the rigfit thing for 
us to go whirling by, scattering our dupt over 
them.’ There was something so subtly- jlleJisant 
in this implied partnership of responsibility, that 
Courtland forgot the abrupt refusal and thought 
only of the tact that prompted it. Nevertheless, 
here a spell deemed to fall upon his usually ready 
speech. Ndw that they were together for the 
first tjme in a distinctly social fashion, he found 
himself vacantly, meaninglessly silent, content to 
walk beside this charming, summery presence, 
brushed by its delicate draperies, and inhaling its 
freshness, “^res^ntly it spoker 

‘ It would take more than a thousand feet of 
lumber ta patch up the cowsheds beyond the 
Moseley pasture, and an entirely new building with , 
an improved dairy would require only about two 
thousand more. All the old material would qome 
in good for fencing, and could be used with the 
new post and rails. Don’t yq’ think it would be 
better to have an out-and-out new building } ’ 

• Yes, ceitaiQly,’ returned Courtfamd, a little 
confu^dly. He had not calculated! upon this 



SALLY DOWS 


fo 

pr4ctical conversation, and was the more discon- 
certed as they were passing some of the other 
couples, who h*d purposely lingered to overfiear 
them. 

‘ Andi’ ccmtinued the young girl, brightly, ‘ the 
freight c^esl^n is getting to be a pretty serious 
one. A$>nt Miranda holds some scares in the 
Brig^svUle branch line, and thinks something 
could be done with the directors for a new tariff 
of chargeis if she put a pressure on them ; Tyler 
says that there was some talk of their reducing it 
one-sixteenth per cent, before we move this year’s 
crop.’ 

Courtland glanced quickly at histtsocn^^ion’s 
face. It was grave, but there was the faintest 
wrinkling of the corner of the eyelid nearest him. 

‘ Had we not better leave these seriptis questions 
until to-morrow ? * he said smiling- 

M iss Sally opened her eyes dqi^i^y. ‘ Why, 
you seemed io quiet, I reckoned must be full of 
business this morning ; but jf yo' prefer company 
ulk, we’ll change the subject. They say {hat yo’ 
and Miss Reed didn’t have much trouble to find 
orite last Sunday. She don't usuidly talk much, 
but she keeps up power of thinking. I should 
reckon,’ she added, suddenly eying him critically, 
’ thtt y 9 * and she mi^t have a heap o’.thinga |o 
say to eadh other. She’s a ^good deal m yb’ 



SALiy DOWS 


71 

fashion, ^o’nnle, she don’t foi^|ti^^ut’’— more 
slowly — ‘ I dofi’t toiow that /^^i^’j^iogf^ther the 
-best thing foryC ^ V ‘ 

Courtland shifted his eyes with affected con- 
sternation. ‘If this is in the ligh}: of another 
mysterious warning, Miss Dows, I wt(fn you that 
my intellect is already tottering with tfiem. Last 
-Sunday Miss Reed thrilled me* for an hour^^ith 
superstition and Cassandra-like prophecy. Don’t 
things ever happen accidentally here, and without 
warning } * 

‘ I mean,,’ Xfiunied the young lady, with her 
usual ptactiCfiL directness, ‘that Tave Reed re- 
members a gCfod many horrid things about the 
wah that she <pught to forget, but don't. But,’ she 
continued, locking at him curiously, ‘ she allows 
she was mighty cut up by her cousin’s manner 
to yo’.’ 9 < 

' I am aftaid that Miss Reed was more annoyed 
than I was,’ said Courtland. ‘ I should be very 
sorry if she attached any importance to it,’ he 
added,* earnestly. 

‘ And yd don’t "i ' continued Miss 'Sally. 

‘ No, Why should 1 ?* She noticed, however, 
that he had slightly drawn himself up a little more 
ef«:t, ,4md she smilol as he ctmtinued : ‘ I dare 
say feel as he does if I H^tre in his 

place,” 



72 « SALIV DOWS 

‘ But wouldn't do anything underhanded,’ 
she said quietly. As he glanced at her quickly, 
she added drily : ‘ Don’t trust too much to people 
always acting in yo’ fashion, co’nnle. And don’t 
think too much nor too little of what yo’ hear here. 
Yo’re just ^e kind of man to make a good many 
silly.enemies, and as many foolish friends. And 
I don’t* know which will give yo’ the most trouble. 
Only don’t yo’ underrate either, or hold yo’ head 
so high, yo’ don’t see what’s crawlin’ around yo’. 
That’s why, in a copper-head ^ swamp, a horse is 
bitten oftener than a hog.’ 

She smiled, yet with knitted brows and such 
a pretty affectation of concern for Jier companion, 
that he suddenly took heart. 

‘ I wish I had one friend I could call my 
own,’ he said, boldly looking straight into her 
eyes. ‘ I’d care little for other friends, and fear no 
enemies.’ 

‘Yo’re right, co’nnle,* .she said, ostentatiously 
slanting her parasol in a marvellous simulation of 
hiding a purely imaginative blush on a cheek that 
was perfectly infantine in its unchanged pink ; 
‘ company talk is much ikiotier than what we’ve 
been saying. And — meaning me — ^for I reckon 
yo’ wouldn’t say that of any other girl but the one 
yo’re walking with' — what’s the matter with me ? ’ 

* A S-enomous southem Serpent (THg&MocepAahts conUhrtrix). 



SALLY DOWS 


73 

He cqpld not help smiling, thoiffili he hesiteted. 

‘ Nothing ! but others have bOen fis^ppittte^.' 

• And that bothers j/ou ? ’ , 

‘ I mean / have as yet had no right to put 
your feelings to any test, while^ — ' 

‘ Poor Chet had, yo’ sifere going to say ! Well, 
here we are at the cemetery ! I reckone^ yo’ 
were bound to get back to the dead again Before 
we’d gone far, and that’s why I thought we might 
take the cemetery on our way. It may put me in 
a more proper frame of mind td please yo’.’ 

As he mised bis eyes, he could not repress a 
slight start. 'He had not noticed before that they 
had passed through a small gateway on diverging- 
from the road, and 'was quite unprepared to find 
himself on the edge of a gentle slope, leading to a 
beautiful valley, and before him a^ong vista of 
tombs, whitS headstones and low crosses, edged 
by drooping cypress and trailing feathery vines. 

^ Some vines had fallen and been caught in long 
loops from bough to bough, like funeral garlands, 
and here and there the tops of isolated palmettos 
lifted a cluster of hearse-like plumes. Yet in spite 
of this dominance of sombre but graceful shadow, 
the drooping delicacy of dark tasselled foliage and 
leafy fringes, and the waving mournit^ veils of 
grey, -tiranslucent . mo!», a glorious? 'i vivifying 
Southern ^hn smiled and glittered evei^where as 



74 


SALLY DOWS 


through tears. The balm of bay, southernwood, 
pine, and syringa breathed through the long alleys ; 
the stimulating scent of roses moved with every- 
zephyr, and the closer odours of jessamine, honey- 
suckle, and orange-flowers hung heavily in the 
hollows. It seemed to Courtland like the mourning 
of beautiful and youthful widowhood, seductive 
even in its dissembling trappings, provocative in 
the contrast of its own still strong virility. Every- 
where the grass grew thick and luxuriant ; the 
(juick earth was teeming with the germirvation of 
the. dead below. 

They moved slowly along side by side, 
speaking only of the beauty of the spot and the; 
glory of that summer day, which seemed to have 
complt:ted its perfection here. Perhaps from the 
heat, the ovarpow(;ring perfume, or sigime unsu.s- 
peoted sentiment, the young lady became presently 
as silent and preoccupied as her companion. .She 
began to linger and loiter behind, hovering like a 
butterfly over some flowering shrub or clustered 
sheaf of lilies, until, encountered suddenly in her 
floating draperies, she might have been taken for 
a somewhat early and far too becoming ghost. It 
.seemed to him ajso that her bright eyes were 
slightly shadowed by a gentle thoughtfulness. 
He moved close to her side with an irresistible 
impulse of tenderness, but she turned suddenly, 



SALLY DOWS 


75 


and saying, ‘ Come ! ’ moved at a qdidker pace 
down a narrow sid^ path. Courtland followed. 
He had not gone far before he noticed that the 
graves seemed to fall into regular lines, the em- 
blems became cheaper and more common ; wooden 
head- and foot-stones of one monotonous pattern 
took the place of carved/reestone or marble^ and 
he knew that they had reached that part of the 
cemetery reserved for those who had fallen in the 
war. The long lines drawn with military precision 
stretched through the little valley, and again up 
the opposi^jp hill in an odd semblance of hollow 
squares, ranks, and columns. A vague recollection 
of the fateful slope of Snake River came over him. 
It was intensified as Miss Sally, who was still 
preceding him, suddenly stopped before air isolated 
mound, bearing a broken marble .shaft and a 
pedestal with the inscription ; ‘ Chester Brooks.’ 
A few withered garlands and immortelles were 
.lying at its base, but encircling the broken shaft 
was a perfectly fresh, unfaded wreath. 

‘ You never told me he was buried here t ’ said 
Courtlatid quickly, half shocked at the unexpected 
revelation. ‘ Was he from this State V 

‘ No, but his regiment was,’ said Miss Sally 
eyeing the wreath critically. 

‘f And this wreath, is it from you ? ' continued 
Courtland gently. 





SALLY DOWS 


77 


‘ Yes, ]» thought yo’ld like to se'' something 
fresh and pooty, instead of those Itale onfe.’ 

‘ And were they also from you ? ’ he asked 
even more gently. 

‘ Dear no ! They were left over from last 
anniversary day by soml^bf the veterans. That’s 
the only one I put there — that is — I gof Mr, 
Champney to leave it here on his way to his house. 
He lives just yonder, yo’ know.’ 

It was impossible to resist this invincible 
naiveti. Courtland bit his lip as the vision aro.se 
before him cf this still more English admirer 
bringing hither, at Miss Sally’s bidding, the tribute 
which she wished to place on the grave of an old 
lover to please a third man. Meantime she had 
put her two little hands behind her back in the 
simulated attitude of ‘ a good girl,’ and was saying 
half smilingly, and he even thought half wistfully ; 

■ Are yo’ satisfied ? ’ 

. ‘ Perfectly.’ 

‘ Then let’s go away. It’s mighty hot here.’ 

They turned away, and descending the slope 
again re-entered the thicker shade of the main 
avenue. Here they seemed to have left the 
sterner aspect of Death. They walked slowly, ; 
the air was heavy with the hot incense of flowers ; 
the road sinking a little left a grassy bank oh one 
side. Here Miss Sally halted and listlessly seated 



78 , SALLY DOWS 

herself, motioning Courtland to do the ^ame. He 
obeyed eagerly. The incident of the wreath had 
troubled him, albeit with contending sensations. 
Shehadgiven.it to please him\ why should he 
question the manner, or torment himself with any 
retrospective thought ? He would have given 
worlds to have been able to accept it lightly or 
gallantly — with any other girl he could — but he 
knew he was trembling on the verge of a passion- 
ate declaration ; the magnitude of the stake was 
too great to be imperilled by a levity of which she 
was more a mistress than himself, and he knew 
that his sentiment had failed to impress her. His 
pride kept him from a[)pealing to her strangely 
practical nature, although he had recognised and 
accepted it, and had even begun to believe it an 
essential part of the strong fascination she had 
over him. Hut being neither a coward, nor a 
weak, hesitating idealist, when he deliberately took 
his -seat beside her he as deliberately made up his 
mind to accept his fate, whatever it might be, then 
and there. 

Perhaps there was something of this in his face. 

• 1 thought yo' were looking a little white, co’nnle,’ 
she said quietly, ; and 1 reckoned we might sit 
down a spell, and then take it slowly home. Yo’ 
ain’t accustomed So’th’n sunrand the air in 

the hollow was swampy.’ As he niade a slight 



SALLY LfOlVS 79 

gesture of genial, she went on with a pretty sisterly 
superiority : , * That’s the way of fo’ NoWn men. 
Yo’ think yo’ can do everything jusit as ifyo’ were 
reared to it, and yo’ never make allov^smce for 
different climates, different blood, and different 
customs. That’s where you slip up.’ 

But he was already leaning towards her with 
his dark earnest eyes fixed upon her in a way she 
could no longer mistake. ‘ At the risk of slipping 
up again, Miss Dows,’ he said gently, dropping 
into- her dialect with utterly unconscious flattery, 

‘ I am going to ask you to teach me everything 
jym wish, to be all that jfou demand — which would 
be far better. You have said we were good 
friends ; I Want you to let me hope to be more. 

I want you to overlook my deficiencies and the 
differences of my race and let me meet you on the 
only level where T can claim to be the equal of 
your own people — that of loving you. Give me 
only the same chance you gave the other poor 
fellow who sleeps yonder — the same chance you 
gave the luckier man who carried the wreath for 
you to put upon his grave.’ 

She had listened with delicately knitted brows, 
the faintest touch of colour and.,a half laughing, 
half superior disapprobation. When he had 
finished,, she .tittered a plaintive little sigh, ‘ Yo’ 
oughtn't to h^e said that, co’nnle, but yo’ and me 



So 


SALLY DOWS 


atfe too good friends to let even that staijd between 
us, Aitd to prove it to yo’ I’m going to forget it 
right away — and so are yo’.’ 

‘ But I cannot,’ he said quickly ; ‘if I could I 
should be unworthy of even your friendship. If 
you must reject it, do not make me feel the shame 
of thinking you believe me capable of wanton 
trifling. I know that this avowal is abrupt to you, 
but it is not to me. You have known me only for 
three months, but these three months have been 
to me the realisation of three years’ dreaming ! ’ 
As she remained looking at him with bright, 
curious eyes, but still shaking her fair head dis- 
tressedly, he moved nearer and caught her hand 
in the little pale lilac thread glove that was, never- 
theless, too wide for her small fingers, and said 
appealingly : ‘ But why should you forget it ? 
Why must it be a forbidden topic ? What is the 
barrier.^ Are you no longer free? Speak, Miss 
Dows — give me some hope, j^iss Dows ! — 
Sally ! ’ 

She had drawn herself away, distressed, protest- 
ing, her fair head turned asid^ until with a slight 
twist and narrowing of her harid she succeeded in 
slip])ing it from the glove which she left a prisoner 
in his eager clasp. ‘There! Yo’ can keep the 
glove, co’nnle,’ she said, breathing ^ickly. ‘ Sit 
down I This is not the place nor the weather for 



SALLY DOWS 


8l 

husking frolics ! Well !— yo’ want to know why 
yo’ mustn’t speak to me in that way. Be still, and 
I’ll tell yoV 

She smoothed down the folds of her frock, 
sitting sideways on the bank, one little foot touch- 
iiig the road. ‘ Yo’ mustn’t speak that way to me,’ 
she went on slowly, ‘because it’s as much as yo’ 
company’s wo’th, as much as our property’s 
wo’th, as much maybe as yo’ life’s wo’th! Don’t 
lift yo’ comb, co’nnle ; if you don’t care for that, 
others may. Sit still, I tell yo’ ! Well, yo’ come 
here from the No’th to run this property for money 
— that’s square and fair business ; lhat any fool 
here can understand — its No’th'n style ; it don’t 
interfere with these fools’ family affairs ; it don’t 
bring into their blood any No’th’n taint ; it don’t 
divide their clannishness ; it don’t separate father 
and son, sister and brother ; and even if yo’ got 
a foothold here and settled down, they know they 
can always outvote yo’ five to one I But let these 
same fools know that yq’re courtin’ a So'th’n girl 
known to be “ Union” during the wah, that girl 
who has laughed at their foolishness ; let them 
even think that he wants that girl to mix up the 
family and the race and the property for him, and 
there ain’t a young or old fool that believes in 
So’th’n isolation as the price of So’th’n salvation 
that wouldn’t rise against yo’ 1 There isn’t one 

G 



^iALLY 1)0 fVS 


87 

that wouldn’t make shipwreck of yo’r syndicate 
and yo’r capital and the prosperity of Redlands 
for the next four years to come, and think they 
were doing right! They began to suspect yo’ 
from the first!. They suspected yo’ when yo’ 
never went anywhere, but stuck close to the fahm 
and me. That’s why I waited yo’ to show yourself 
among the girls ; they wouldn't have minded yo’ 
flirting with them with the chance of yo’ breaking 
yo’ heart over Tave Reed or Lympy • Morris ! 
'J'hey'rc fools enough to believe that a snub or a 
jilt from a So'tli'n girl would pay them back for a 
lost battle or a ruined plantation !’ 

For the first time Miss Sally saw Courtland’s 
calm blood fly to his cheek, and kindle in his eye. 
‘You surely do not expect »/r to tolt:rate this 
blind and insolent interference ! ’ he said, rising to 
his feet. 

She lifted her ungloved hand in deprecation. 

‘ Sit ^ill, co'nnle. \’'o’ve been a soldi^, and yo’ 
know what duty is. Well! what’s yo*.dtot fc to yo’ 
company ? ’ ‘ 

‘ It neither includes my private affairs, nor 
regulates the beating of my heart I tSwill 
resign.’ 

‘And le;ive me and Aunt Miranda, and the 
plantation ? ' 

‘ No ! The company will find another super- 



SALLY DOWS 


83 


intendent*to look after ;^ur aunt S|^airs, and 
carry out c>ur plans. And yoii* Sali|p-you will 
let me firij ^ ou a home and fortune north ? There 
is work for%e there ;*there « room for you among 
my people.’ . ‘ 

She shook her head slowly with a sweet but 
superior smile. ‘ No^ co’nnie ! I didn’t believe 
in the wah, but the least I could do was to stand 
by my folks and share the punishment that I knew 
was coming from it. I despise this foolishness as 
much as yo’, but 1 can’t run away from it. Come, 
co'nnle, I A^on’t ask yo’ to forget this; mo', I’ll 
even belike yo’ meant it, but yo’ll promise me 
yo’ won’t sfpeak of it again as long as yo’ are with 
the comgpmy and Aunt Miranda and me ! There 
mustn’t he more — there mustn’t even seem to be 
more— between us.’ 

‘But then I may hope.^’ he said, eagerly 
grasping her band. 

. ‘ I^romise nothing, for yo’ must n»t even 

have that excuse for speaking of this again, either 
from anything 1 do, or may seem to do,’ She 
stopped, released her hand, as her eyes were 
suddenly fixed .on the distance. Then she said 
with a slight smile, buf without *the least embar- 
rassment or im.patience : ‘ There’s Mr. Champney 
coming! here now. I reckon he’s looking to see if 
that wreath is safe* ’ 



84 


SALLY LOJVS 


Courtland looked up quickly. H» could see 
the straw hat of the young Englishman just above 
the myrtle bushes in a path intersecting the 
avenue. A faint shadow crossed his facfe. ‘ Let 
me know one thing more,’ he. said hurriedly. ‘ I 
know I have no right to ask the question, but 
has — has — has Mr. Champney anything to do with 
your decision ? ’ 

She smiled brightly. ‘ Yo’ asked just now il 
yo’ could have the same chance he and Chet 
Brooks had. Well, poor Chet is dead, and Mr. 
Champney — well ! — wait and see.’ She lifted her 
voice and called : ‘ Mr. Champney.’ J'he young 
fellow came briskly towards them ; his face betrayed 
a .slight surprise, but no discomfiture, as he recog- 
nised her companion. 

‘Oh, Mr. Champney,’ said Miss Sally, plain- 
tively, ‘ I’ve lost my glove somewhere n^r pooah 
Brooks’s tomb in the hollow. Won’t you go and 
fetch it, and come back here to take me home? 
The co’nnle has got to go and see his sic^ niggers 
in the hospital’ Champney lifted his hat, nodded 
genially to Courtland, and disappeared below the 
cypresses on the slope. ‘Yo’ mustn’t be mad,’ 
she said, turning* in explariation to her companion, 
' but we have been here too long already, and it’s 
better that I should be seen coming home with 
him than yo’.’ 



SALLY DOWS 85 

‘ Thei^ this sectional interferen ;e does not 
touch him ? ’ said Courtland bitterly. 

‘ No. He’s an Englishman ; his father was a 
known friend of the Confederacy, and bought 
their cotton bonds.’ 

She stopped, gazing into Courtland’s face with 
a pretty vague impatience and a slight pouting of 
her lip. 

‘ Co’nnle ! ’ 

‘ Miss Sally.’ 

‘ Yo’ say yo’ had known me for three years be- 
fore yo’ saw me. Well, we met once before we 
ever spoke to each other ! ’ 

Courtland looked in her laughing eyes with 
admiring wonder. ‘ When ? ’ he asked. 

‘ The* first day yo’ came! Yo’ moved the 
ladder when 1 was on the cornice, and I walked 
all over yo’ he.'i 1. And, like a gentleman, yo’ 
n.;ver said a word about it. .1 reckon I stood on 
,yo’ head for five minute.s.’ 

‘ Not as long as that,’ said Courtland laughing, 

‘ if I remember rightly.’ 

‘ Yes,’ said Miss Sally with dancing eyes. ‘ I, 
a So’th’n girl, actually set my foot on the head of 
a No’th’n scum of a co’nnle I My I’ 

‘ Let that satisfy your friends then.’ 

‘ No ! / want to apologise. Sit down, 

co’nnle.’ 



SALLY DOWS 



HE FELT THE SOFl' TOUCH OF HER SMALL HANDS OK HIS 
SMOULDERS 





SALLY DOWS 


87 


‘ But, Miss Sally- 
‘ Sit dow o^A ic^! ’ 

He did s^^||feating himself fideway| on the 
bank. Miss Sally slo<jd beside him. -'I 
‘ Take off yo’ hat, sir.,J^. ^ 
tie obeyed smilingly. ' Miss Sally suddenly 
slipped behind him. He felt the soft touch of her 
small hands on his shoulders ; a warm breath 
stirred the roots of his hair, and then — the light 
pressure on his scalp of what seemed the lips of a 
child. 

He leaped to his feet, yet before he could turn 
completely round- a difficulty the young lady had 
evidently caici^ilated upon — he was too late ! The 
floating draped^ ( f the artful and shameless Miss 
Sally were alri®y disappearing among the tombs 
in the direction of the hollow. 


CHAPTER V 

The house occupied by the manager of the Drum- 
mond Syndicate in Redlands — the former residence^ 
of a l<gcal lawyer and justice of the peace— was 
not Isitge, but bad an imposing portico of Wooden 
Doric' cdluniiis, which extended to the riwf and 
fronted the main street The all-p^ading 



88 


SALLY DOIVS 


creeper closely covered it ; the sidewalk before it 
was shaded by a row of broad-leaved ailantus. 
The front room, with French windows opening 
on the portico, was used by Golonel Courtland as 
a general office ; beyond this a sitting-room and 
dining-room overlooked the old-fashioned garden 
with its detached kitchen and inevitable negro 
cabin. It was a close evening ; there were dark 
clouds coming up in the direction of the turnpike 
road, but the leaves of the ailantus hung heavy 
and motionless in the hush of an impending storm. 
The sparks of lazily floating fireflies softly ex- 
panded and went out in the gloom of the black 
foliage, or in the dark recesses of the office, whose 
windows were widely open, and whose lights 
Courtland had e.xtinguished when he Ijrought his 
armchair to the portico for coolness. One of 
these sparks beyond the fence, although alternately 
glowing and paling, was still so persistent and 
stationary that Courtland leaned, forward to watch 
it more closely, at which it disappeared, and a 
voice from the street said : 

• Is that you, Courtland ?’ 

‘ Yes. Come in, won’t you ? ’ 

The voice was Champney's, and the light was 
from his cigar. As he opcired the gate and came 
slowly up the steps of the portico the usual hesita- 
tion of his manner seemed to have increased. A 



SALLY DOWS 


89 


long sigh trilled the limp leaves of ti e ailantus and 
as quickly subsided. A few hekvy perpendicular 
raindrops crashed and spattered thrpugh the 
foli^e like molten lead. 

‘ You've just escaped the shower,’ said Court- 
land pleasantly. He had not seen Champney 
since they parted in the cemetery six weeks 
before. • 

‘Yes! — I — 1 thought I’d like to have a little 
talk with you. Courtland,’ said Champney. He 
hesitated a moment before the proffered chair, and 
then added, with a cautious glance towards the 
street, ‘ Hadn’t we better go inside ?’ 

‘ As you like. But you’ll find it wofully hot 
We're quite aloiiC .here; there’'S nobody in the 
house, and this shower will drive any loungers 
from th'fe street.’ He was quite frank, although 
their relations to each other in regard to Miss 
Sally were still so undefined as to scarcely invite 
, his confidence. 

Howbeit Champney took the proffered chair 
and the glass of julep which Courtland brought 
him. 

‘ You remember my speaking to you of 
Dumont?’ he said hesitatingly, ‘Miss Dows’s 
French cousin, you know ? Well — he’s coming 
here : he’s got property here — those three houses 
opposite the Court Hpuse. From wh^ I hear, 



90 


SALLY DOWS 


he’ti come over with a lot of new-fanglqjl French 
ideas die nigger question — rot about equality 
and fratamity, don’t you know — and the highest 
education and highest offices for them. Y ou know 
what the feeling is here already.^ You. know 
what htqipened at the last election at Coolidgeville 
— how die whites wouldn’t let the niggers go to 
the polls and the jolly row that was kicked up over 
it? Well, it looks as if that sort of thing might 
happen here, don’t you know, if Miss Dows takes 
up these ideas.’ 

‘ But I’ve reason to suppose — I mean.’ said 
Courtland correcting himself with somp delibera- 
tion — ‘that any one who knows Miss Dows’s 
opinions knows 4:hat these are not her views. 
Why should she take them up ? ’ 

' * Because she takes him up,’ )?^trned 
Champney hurriedly ; ‘ and even if sHe didn’t 
believe in them herself, she’d have to share the 
responsibility with him in the eyes of every un- 
reconstructed rowdy like Tom Higbee and the rest 
of them. They’d make short work of her niggers 
all the same.’ 

‘ But I don’t see why she should be made re- 
sponsible for the opinions of her ebusin, iior do 
I exactly know what " taking him up " means,’ 
returned Courtland quietly. 

Champney moistened his dry lips with the 



SALLY DOWS 


9 > 


julep and wttered a nervous lau^h. ‘ Suppose we 
say her hushand - — for that's whiit his coding back 
here means." Everybody knows that ^ ^it woidd, 
too, if you ever talked with her about anythiftg 
but business' 

A bright flash of lightning that lit up the faces 
of the two men would have reveal^ Champney’s 
flushed features and Courtland’s lack of colour had 
they been looking at each other. But they were 
not, and the long reverberating crash of thunder 
which followed prevented any audible reply from 
Courtland, and covered his agitation. 

For without ft.lly accepting Champney’s con- 
clusions he was cruelly shocked at the young man’s 
utterance of them. He had scrupulously respected 
the wishes of Miss Sally and had faithfully — 
although never hopelessly — held back any ex- 
pression of his Own’ love since their conversation 
in the cemetery. But while his native truthfulness 
sind sense of honour had overlooked the seeming 
insincerity of her attitude towards Champney, he 
had never Justified his own tacit participation in it, 
and the concealment of his own pretensions before 
his possible rival. It was true that she' had for- 
bidden him to openly enter the listsgiwth her 
admii^rs^ but Champney’s innocent assfflption of 
his irtdiffefiehce to ber and his consequent half 
confidences added poignancy to his story! There 



9J 


SAl.f.Y DOWS 


seemed to be only one way to extricate himself, 
and that was by a quarrel. Whether he did or 
did not believe Champney's story, whether it was 
only the jealous exaggeration of a rival, or Miss 
Sally was actually deceiving them both, his posi- 
tion had become intolerable. 

‘ I must remind you, Champney,’ he said, 
with freezing deliberation, ‘that Miss Miranda 
Dows and her niece now represent the Drummond 
Company equally with myself, and that you can- 
not expect me to listen to any reflections upon the 
way they choose to administer their part in its 
affiiirs, either now, or to come. Still less do I care 
to discuss the idle gossip which can affect only 
the private interests of these ladies, w’ith which 
neither you nor I have any right to interfere.’ 

Hut the tiah'cti' the young Englishman was 
as invincible as Miss Sally’s own, and as fatal to ; 
Courtland’s attitude. ‘ Of couyse I haven’t^H^ 
you know,’ he said, iSlImly ignorin^Rnq 
severe preamble of his companion’s speech, ‘ but 
1 say ! hang it all ! even if a fellow has no chance 
himself, he don’t like to see a girl throw herself 
and her property away on a man like that’ 

‘One moment, Champney,’ said Courtland, 
under the infection of his guest’s simplicity, 
abandoning his former superior attitude. * You 
say you have no chance. Do you want me to 



SALLY nOlYS 


93 


understand that you are regularly a suitor of Miss 
Dows ? ’ 

‘ Y-e-e-s,’ said the young fellow, but with the 
hesitation of conscientiousness rather thaa evasion. 
‘ That is —you know I was. But don’t you see, it 
couldn’t be.’ It wouldn’t do, you know. If those 
clannish neighbours of hers — that Southern set — 
suspected that Miss Sally was courted by an Eng- 
lishman, don’t you know — a poacher on their pre- 
serves — it would be all up with her position on 
the property and her influence over them. I don’t 
mind telling you that’s one reason why I left the 
Company and took that other plantation. But 
even that didn't work ; they had their suspicions 
excited already.’ 

‘ Did Miss Dows give that as a reason for 
declining your suit ? ’ cisked Courtland, slowly. 

‘ Yes. You know what a straightforward 

she is. She didn’t come no rot about “ not 
expecting anything of the kind,” or about “ being a 
sister to me,” and all that, for, by Jove! she’s 
always more like a fellow’s sister, don’t you know, 
than his girl. Of course it was hard lines for me, 
but I suppose she was about right.’ He stopped, 
and then added with a kind of gentle persistency : 

‘ Vou think she was about right, don’t you ?’ 

With what was passing in Courtland’s mind 
the question seemed so bitterly ironical th^ at first 



94 


SALLY DOWS 


he leaned half angrily forward, in an unconscious 
attempt to catch the speaker’s expression in the 
darkness. ‘ I should hardly venture to give an 
opinion,’ he s^id, after a pause. ‘ Miss Dows’s 
relations with her neighbours are so very peculiar. 
And from what you tell me of her coUsin it would 
seem that her desire to placate them is not always 
to be depended upon.’ 

‘ I’m not finding fault with her, you know,’ 
said Champney hastily. ‘ I’m not such a beastly 
cad :is that : I wouldn’t have spoken of my affairs 
at all. but you asked, you know.. I only thought, 
if she was going to get herself into trouble on 
account of that Frenchman, you might talk to her 
— .she’d listen to you, because she’d know you only 
did it out of business reasons. And they’re really 
business reasons, you know. I suppose j^pu don’t 
think much of my business capacity,’ coltmel, and 
you wouldn’t go much on my judgment — espe- 
cially now ; but I’ve been here longer than you 
and — ’ he lowered his voice slighdy -and ^i^^agged 
his chair nearer Coitrlland — ‘ I don’t like looks 
of things here. There’s some devilmenfiplotting 
among those rascals. They’re only at^aiting an 
opportunity ; a single flash would be (Enough to 
set them in a blaze, even if the fire tyasn’t lit 
and smouldering already like a spark in a bale of 
cotton. I’d cut the whole thing and clear out if I 



SALIV DO tvs 


95 



‘ YOr’RE A GOOD FELLOW, CBAMFNEY/ SAID COD|i^LAND 


96 


Si ALLY DOWS 


didn’t think it would make it harder for ^^iss Dows, 
who would be left alone.’ 

‘ You’re a good fellow, Champney,’ said Court- 
land, laying his hand on the young man’s shoulder 
with a sudden impulse, ‘ and 1 forgive you for over- 
looking any concern that / might have. Indeed,’ 
he added, with an odd seriousness and a half sigh, 
• it’s not strange that you should. But I must re- 
mind you that the Dowsesare strictly the agentsand 
tenants of the company I represent, and that their 
rights and property under that tenancy shall not 
be interfered with by others as long as I am here. 
1 have no right, however,’ he .added gravely, ‘ to 
keep Miss Dows from imperilling them by her 
social relations.’ , 

ChampiK^y rose and shook hands with him 
awkwardly. ‘ I ht; shower seems to be holding up,’ 
he said, ‘ and I’ll toddlealong before it starts afresh. 
Good-night ! I .say — you didn’t mind my coming 
to you this way, did you } By Jove! I thought 
you were a little stand-offish at first. But you 
know what I meant ? ’ 

‘ Perfectly, and I thank you.’ They shook 
hands again. Champney stepped from the portico, 
and, reaching the gate, seemed to vanish as he 
had come, out of the darkness. 

The storm was not yet over ; the air. had again 
become close and suffocating. Courtland remained 



SALLY DOWS 


97 


brooding ib his chair. Whether he could accept 
Champney’s news as true or not, he felt that he 
must end this .suspense at once. A half guilty 
consciousness that he was thinking more of it in 
reference to his own passion than his duty to the 
company did not render his meditations less 
unpleasant. Yet while he could not reconcile 
Miss Sally’s confidences in the cemetery con- 
cerning the indifference of her people to Champ- 
ney’s attentions with what Champney had just 
told him of the reasons she had given him for 
declining tliem, I am afraid he was not shocked 
by her peculiar ethics. A lover seldom finds fault 
with his mistress for deceiving his rival, and is as 
little apt to consider the logical deduction that she 
could deceive him also, as Othello was to accept 
Hrabantio’s warning. I'he masculine sense of 
honour which might have resented the friendship 
of a man capable of such treachery did not hesi- 
tate to accept the love of a woman under the same 
conditions. Perhaps there was an implied com- 
pliment in ^us allowing her to take the sole ethical 
responsibi!^, which few women would resist. 

In the imdst of this gloomy abstraction Court- 
land suddenly raised his head and listened. 

‘ Cato.* 

‘Yes, sah.’ 

There was a sound of heavy footsteps in the 

%. 11 



SALLY POIVS 


yb 

i 

halll coming from the rear of the Wbuse, and 
presently a darker bulk appeared in the shadowed 
doorway. It was his principal overseer — a strong 
and superior negro, selected by his fellow-freed- 
men from among their number in accordance with 
Courlland’s new 

‘ Did you come here from the plantation or the 
town ? ’ 

‘The town, sah.’ 

‘ 1 think you had better keep out of the town 
in the dvenings for th'e present,’ said Courtland in 
a tone of quiet but positive authority.' 

‘ Are dey goin’ to bring back de ole “ patter 
rollers," ' sah ? ' asked the man with a slight sneer. 

‘ 1 don’t know,’ returned Courtland, calmly, 
ignoring his, overseer’s manner. ■ But if they did 
you must comply with the local regulations unless 
they conflict with the Federal law^, when you 
must appeal t(» the Federal authorities. I prefer 
you .should avoid any trouble until you are .sure.’ . 

‘ I reckon they won’t try any games on me,’ 
said the negro with a short laugh. 

Courtland looked at him intently. - ' 

’ I thought as much ! Y ou*¥e cartying arms, 
Cato ! Hand them over.’ 

The overseer hesitated for a moment, and 

' I.t. the ‘ patrol ’ or local police, who formerly had the surveil- 
lancet>f slaves. ,, . „ 



SALLY BOWS 


99 


then unstTapped a revolver from his belt, and 
handed it to Courtland. , # ■ 

‘ Now how many of you are in the habit of 
going round the town armed like this ?.*■ 

‘ Only de men who’ve been insulted, sah.’ 

‘ And how have you been insulted ? ’ 

‘ Marse Tom Higbee do\^n in de market 
reckoned it was high time fancy niggers was drov 
into de swamp, and I allowed that loafers and 
beggars had better roost high when workin’ folks 
was around, and Marse l orn said he’d cut my 
haht out.' 

‘And do you think your carrying a revolver 
will [)revent him and his friends performing that 
operation if you provoked them ? ’ 

‘You said we was to pertect ourseffs, .sah,’ 
returned the negro gloomily. ‘ What foh den did 
you drill us to use dem rides in de armoury ?’ 

‘ To defend yourselves together under orders 
if attacked, not to singly threaten with them in 
a street row. Together, you would stand some 
chance Against those men,; separately they could 
eat you up, Cato.’ 

‘ I wouldn’t trust too much to some of dera 
niggers standing together, sah,’ said Cato darkly. 

‘ Dey’d run before de old masters — if they didn’t 
run to ’em. Shuah !’ j 

A fear of this kind had crossed ©jurtland’s 



SALLY DOWS 


loo 

niind' before, but he made no present •comment. 

‘ I found two of the armoury rifles in the men’s 
cabins yesterday,’ he resumed quietly. ‘ See that 
it does not occur again ! They must not be taken 
from the armoury except to defend it.’ 

‘Yes, sah.’ 

There was a moment of silence. Then it was 
broken by a sudden gust that swept through the 
columns of the portico, stirring the vines. The 
broad leaves of the ailantus -began to rustle ; an 
ominous pattering followed ; the rain had recom- 
menced. And as Courtland rose and walked 
towards the open window its blank panes and the 
interior of the office were suddenly illuminated by 
it gleam of returning lightning. * 

He entered the office, bidding Catcw>llow, and 
lit the lamp above his desk. The negro remained 
standing gloomily but respectfully by the window. 

‘ Cato, do you know anything of Mr. Dumont 
— Miss Dows’s cousin .^ ’ 

The negro's white teeth suddenly flashed in 
the lamplight. ‘ Ya! ha! I reckon, sah.’ 

' Then he’s a great friend of your people 
' I don’t know about dat, sMt. But he’s a 
[x>w’ful enemy oT de Reeds and de Higbees !’ 

‘ On account of his views, of course ? ’ 

' ’Deed no!’ said Cato with an astounded air. 
‘ Jess on account of de vendetia ! ’ 



SALLY nows 


lor 


‘ The Jiendetia ? ’ 

‘ Yes, sah. De old blood qiio’ll of de families. 
It’s been goin’ on over fifty years, sah. De gran- 
fader, fader, and brudder of de Higbees was killed 
by de granfader, fader, and brudder of de Doo- 
monts. De Reeds chipped in when all de Higbees 
was played out, fo’ dey was relations, but cley 
was chawed up by some of de Dowses, first cousins 
to de Doomonts.’ 

‘ What } Are the Dows in this vendetta ?’ 

‘ No, sah. No mo’. Dey’s bin no man in 
de family since Ivliss Sally’s fader died — dat’s let 
de Dows out fo’ ever. De las’ shootin’ was done 
by Marse George Doomont, who crippled Marse 
Tom Higbee’s brudder Jo, and den skipped to 
Europe. Dey say he’s come back, and is lying 
low over at Atalanty. Dar’ll be lively times ef he 
conies here to see Miss Sally.’ 

‘ But he may have changed his ideas while 
living abroad, where this .sort of thing is simple 
murder.’ 

The negro shook his head grimly. ‘ Den he 
wouldn't come', sah. No, .sah. He knows dat 
Tom Higbee’s bound to go to’ him or leave de 
place, and Marse George wouldn’t mind settlin’ 
ktm too as well as his brudder,* for de scores is 
agin’ de Doomonts yet. And Marse George ain’t 
no slouch wid a scatter gun.’ . 



102 


SALLY DOWS 


At any other time the imminenQje of this 
survival of a lawless barbarism of which he had 
heard so much would have impressed Courtland, 
now he was only interested in it on account of the 
inconceivable jjosition in which it left Miss Sally- 
Had she anything to dp with this baleful cousin’s 
return, or was she only to be a helpless victim of it ? 

A white, dazzling, and bewildering flash of 
lightning suddenly lit up the room, the porch, the 
<lrip[)ing ailantus, and the flooded street beyond. 
It was followed presently by a crash of thbiider, 
with what seemed to be a second fainter flash 
of lightning, or rather as if the first flash had 
siakhmly ignited some inflammable substance. 
With the long reverberation of -the thfihder still 
shaking the house, Courtland slipped q^kly out of 
the window aijd passed down to the gate. 

‘ Did it strike anything, .sah ?’,^wthe startled 
negro, as Courtland returned. ^ ; 

‘ Not that l ean .see,’ .said his 'erhployer shortly. 

‘ ( io inside, and call Zoc and her daughter from 
the cabin and bring them’ in the hall. Stay till I 
come. Co! — I’ll shut the windows myself.’ 

‘ 1 1 must have struck somewhere, sah, shuah ! 
Deh's a pow’ful smell of sulphur right he?re,’ said 
the negro as he left the room. 

Courtland thought so too, but it was a kind of 
sulphur that he had smelt before— on the battle 




t04 


SALLY DOWS 


field ! For when the door was closed behind his 
overseer he took the lamp to the opposite wall and 
examined it carefully. There was the distinct 
hole made by a bullet which had missed Cato’s 
head at the open window by an inch. 


CHAPTER VI 

In an instant Courtland had regained complete 
possession of himself. His distracting passion — 
how distracting he had never before realised — was 
gone! His clear sight — no longer distorted by 
sentiment — had come back; he saw everything in 
its just proportion — his duty, the plantation, the 
helpless frectdman threatened by lawless fury ; the 
two women — no longer his one tantalising .vision, 
but now only a passing deta'l of the worlp before 
him. H(! saw th(;ni through no aberratl;^ mist 
of tenderness or expediemey — but with the single 
directness of the man of action. 

The shot h;wl clearly been intended for Cato. 
F-ven if it were an act of mere personal revenge, 
it showed a confidence and security in the would- 
be. assassin that betokened co-operation and an 
organised plan. H<^ had availed himself of the 
thunder-.storm, the flash and long reverberating 
roll of sound— an artifice not tinknown to border 



SALLY nows 


105 


ambush— confuse discovery at the instant. Yet 
the attack might be only an isolated one ; or it 
might be the beginning of a general raid upon the 
Syndicate’s freedmen. If the former, he could 
protect Cato from its repetition by guarding him 
in the office until he could be conveyed to a place 
of safety ; if the latter, he must at once collect 
the negroes at their quarters, and take Cato with 
him. He resolved upon the latter course. The 
quarters were half a mile from the Dows’ dwelling 
— which was two miles away. 

He sat down and wrote a few lines to Miss 
Dows stating that, in view of some threatened 
disturbances in the town, he thought it advisable 
to keep the negroes in their quarters, whither he 
w'as himself going. He sent her his housekeeper 
and the child, as they had both better remain in a 
place of security until he returned to town. He 
gave the note to Zoe. bidding her hasten by the 
back garden across the fields. Then he turned to 
Cato. 

‘ I am going with you to the quarters to-night,’ 
he said quietly, ‘and you can carry your pistol 
back to the armoury yourself.’ He banded him 
the weapon. The negro received it gratefully, 
but suddenly cast a .searching glance at his 
<;mplpyer. Courtland’s face, however, betrayed 
no change. When Zoe had gone, he continued 



SALLY DOWS 


lo6 

tranquilly, ‘ We will go by the back wqy through 
the woods.' As the negro started slightly, 
Courtland continued in the same even tone : ‘ The 
sulphur you smelt just now, Cato, was the smoke 
of a gun fired at yoti from the street. I don’t 
propose- that the- shot shall be; reqieateid under the 
same advantages ’ 

The negro became violently agitated. - ‘ It 
was dat sneakin’ hound Tom Higbee,’ he said 
huskily. 

Courtland looked at him i^harply. ‘ Then 
there was something more than words passed 
between him and you, Cato. What happened ? 
Come, speak out ! ’ 

‘ He lashed me with his whip, and I gib him 
one right under the yeah, and drupped him,’ said 
Cato, recovering his courage with hisan^erat the 
recollection, ‘ I had a right to defend myself, 
sail.’ 

‘ Yes, and I hope you’ll be able to do it now,’ 
saitl Courtland calmly, his face giving np sign of 
his conviction that Cato’s fate’was doomed by that 
single retaliating blow. ‘ But you’ll be safer at the 
quarters.’ • He pE(^sed into his bedroorp, took a 
revolver from hisljedhead and a derringer from the 
drawer, both of which he quickly slipped beneath 
his buttoned coat, and returned. 

' When we are in the fields, dear of the house. 



SALLY DOWS 


' H9? 

keep clos% by my side, and even try' to keep' step 
with me What you have to say, say now ; there 
must be no talking to betray our position — we 
must go silently, and you’ll have enoujh to do to 
exercise your eyes and ears, I shall stand be- 
tween you and any attack, but I expect you to 
obey orders without hesitation.’ He opened 
the back door, motioned to Cato to pass out, 
followed him, locked the door behind them, and 
taking the negro’s arm walked beside the low 
palings to the ‘end of the garden, where they 
climbed the fence and stood upon the open field 
beyond. 

Unfortunately, it had grown lighter with the 
breaking of the h -avy clouds, and gusty gleams of 
moonlight chased each other over the field, or 
struck a glitter from standing rain-pools between 
the little hillocks. To cross the open field and 
gain the fringe of woods on the other side was the 
j'earest way to the quarters, but for the moment 
was the most exposed course ; to follow the hedge 
to the bottom of the field and the boundary fence 
anti then cross at right angles, in its shadow, 
would be safer, but they would lose valuable time. 
Believing that Cato’s vengeful ^assailant was still 
hovaing near with his comrades, Courtland cai>t 
a quic^ gldnce down the shadowy line of 0.sage 
hedge beside them. Suddenly Cato gnisped his 



lo8 SALLY DOWS 

arm and pointed in the same direction, •where the 
boundary fence he had noticed— a barri^r of rough 
palings— crossed the field. With the moon low on 
the other side of it, it was a mere black silhouette, 
broken only by bright silver openings and gaps 
along its surface that indicated the moonlit field 
beyond. At first Courtland saw nothing else. 
Then he was struck by the fact that these open- 
ings became successively and regularly eclipsed, 
as with the passing of some opaque object behind 
them. It was a file of men on the other side of 
the fimet;, keeping in its shelter as they crossed 
the field towards his house. Roughly calculating 
from the passing obscurations, there must have 
been twelve or fifteen in all. 

He could no longer doubt their combined in- 
tentions, nor hesitate how to meet them. He 
must at once make; for the ({uarters w^n Cato, 
even if he had to cross that open field before them. 
He knew that they would avoid . injuring 4/w 
personally, in the fear of possible Federal and 
political complications, and he re.solved to use that 
fear to (“nsure Cato's safety. Placing his hands 
on the negro's shouldt-rs, he shoved him forwards, 
falling into a ‘ lock ste() ' so close behind him that it 
became imixissibh^ for the most e.\pert marksman 
to fin* at one without imperilling the other’s life. 
When half way across the field he noticed that the 



SAJuy DOW’S 


109 


shadows seen though the openir^s pf the 
had paused. The ambushed men had (^yidehtly 
seen the double apparition, understood it, nnd, as 
he expefcted, dared not fire. He reached the 
other side with Cato in safety, but not before he 
saw the fateful shadows again moving, and this 
time in their own direction. They were evidendy 
intending to pursue them. But once within the 
woods Courtland knew that his chances were 
equal. He I)reathed more freely. Cato, now less 
agitated, had even regained something of his 
former emotional combativeness which Courtland 
had checked. Although far from confident of his 
henchman’s prowess in an emergency, the pros- 
pect of getting him safe into the quarters seemed 
brighter. 

' It was necessary also to trust to his superior 
wood-craft and knowledge of the locality, and 
Courtland still walking between him and his 
.pursuers and covering his retreat allowed him to 
lead the way. It lay over ground that was be- 
ginning to slope gently ; the underbrush was 
presently e.xchanged for springy moss, the 
character of the trees changed, the black trunks 
of cypresses made the gloom thicker. Trailing 
vines and parasites brushed their faces, a current 
of damp air seemed to flow just above the .soil in 
which their lower limbs moved sluggishly as 



no 


SALLY DOWS 


thiough stagnant water. As yet there was no m- , 
dication^jf pursuit. But Courtland felt that it was 
not abandoned. Indeed, he had barely time to 
check an exclamation from the negro, before the 
dull gallop of horse-hoofs in the open ahead of 
them was ])|ain to them both. It was a second 
party of their pursuers, mounted, who had evidently 
been sent to prevent their final egress from the 
woods, while those they had just evaded were no 
doubt slowly and silently following them on foot. 
They were to be caught between two fires ! 

‘What is there to the left of us?’ whispered 
Courtland quickly. 

‘ De swamp.’ 

Courtland set his teeth together. His dull- 
witted companion had evidently walked them both 
into the trap! Nevertheless, his ^njsolve was 
quickly made. He could already swfthroiigh the 
thinning fringe of timber the figures of the 
mounted men in the moonlight. 

‘ This should be the boundaiy' line of the 
plantation? This field beside us is oiirs?' he 
said, interrogatively. 

‘ Yes,’ returned the negro, ‘but de quarters is 
a mile furder.’ * 

‘ Good ! Stay here until I come back or call 
you ; I’m going to talk to these fellows. But if 
you value your life don't you speak nor stir-’ 



SALLY DOWS 


He strode ijuickly through the intei 
trees and stepped out into the fnoonUghi 
suppressed shout greeted him, and half, a d 
mounted men, masked and carrying rifles; i 
down towards him, but he remained quietly wau 
ing there, and as the nearest approachecf him, he 
made a stejj forward and cried ‘Halt!’ 

The men pulled up sharply and mechanically 
at that ring of military imperioi’sness. 

‘ What are you doing here ? ’ said Courtland. 

‘ We reckon that’s our business, co’nnle.’ 

‘ It’s' mir£, when you’re on property that I 
control.’ 

The man hesitated and looked interrogatively , 
towards his fellow^i. ‘ I allow you’ve got us there, 
co'nnle,’’ he said at last with the lazy insolence of 
conscious power, 'but 1 don’t mind telling you 
we’re wanting a nigger about the size of your 
Cato. We hain’t got anything ag'mjyou, co’nnle ; 
we don’t want to interfere with jyour property, 
and your ways, but we don’t calculate to have 
strangers interfere with our ways and our cus- 
toms. Trot out your nigger — you No’th’n folks 
don’t eall Aim “property,” you know — and we’ll 
clear off your land,’ ' 

‘ And may I ask what you want of Cato ? ’ said 
Courtland quietiy. , • 

‘To show him that all the Federal/ law in 



SALLY DOWS 


^on’t protect him when he stril^s a white 
’ burst out one of the masked figures. 

■g forward. 

‘ Then you compel me to show you,’ said 
wOurtland, immovably, ‘what any Federal citizen 
may do in the defence of Federal law. For I’ll 
kill the first man that attempts to lay hands upon 
him on n>y property. Some , of you, who have 
already tried to assassin.ite him in cold blood, I 
have met before in less dishonourable warfare 
than this, and they know I am able to keep my 
word.’ 

There was a moment’s silence ; the barrel of 
the revolver he was holding at his side glistened 
for an instant in the moonlight, but he did not 
move. The two men rode up to the first speaker 
and exchanged words. A light laugh followed, 
and the first speaker turned again to Courtland 
with a mocking jiolitene.ss. 

‘ Very well, co’nnle, if that’s your opinion, and 
you allow we can’t follow our game over your 
property, why we reckon we’ll have to give way 
to those who can. Sorry to have troubled yon. 
Good-night.’ 

He lifted hik hat ironically, waved it to his 
followers, and the next moment the whole party 
were galloping furiously towards the high road. 

For the first time that evening a nervous sense 



SALLV DOIVS 


”3 


of appreh^stoo passed over CoiMland. The im- 
pending of some unknown dang® is alvirays, more 
terrible to a braye man than theij||ost overwhelm- 
ing odds that /he can see and realise. He felt 
instinctively that they had uttereci no vague 
bravado to cover up their defeat ; there was^till 
some advantage on which they confiJ^itly 
reckoned — but what ? Was it only a reference 
to the other party tracking them through the 
woods on which their enemies now solely relied.?' 
He regained Cato quickly ; the white teeth of tj/e 
foolishly confident negro were already flashmg 
his imagined triumph to his employer. Court- 
land’s heart grew sick as he saw It. 

‘ We’^ not t)ut of the woods yet, Qato,’ h6 
said drily^' nor are they. Keep your eyes and 
ears ogerwtind attend to me. How long can we 
keep in tra cover of these woods, and still push 
on in the direction of the quarters ? ’ 

‘ There’s a way roun’ de edge o’ de swamp, 
sah, but we'd have to go back a spell to find 
it.’ 

‘ Go on ! ’ 

‘ And dar’s moccasins and copperheads lying 
round here in de trail ! Dey ^n't go for us 
ginerally — but,’ he hesitated, ‘white men don’t 
stand mpeh show.’ 

‘ Good ! Then it is as bad for those who are 



SALLY nows 


114 

diaslog us, as for me. That will edo. Lead 
on.’ . 

They retraced their steps cautiously, until the 
negro turned into a lighter by-way. A strange 
mephitic odour seemed to come from sodden 
leaves and mosses that began to ooze under their 
feet, They had picked their way in silence for 
some minutes ; the stunted willows and cypress 
standing further and further apart, and the open- 
ings with clumps of scxige were frequent. Court- 
land was beginning to fear this exposure of his 
follower, and had moved up besitle him, when 
suddenly the negro caught his arm, and treimbled 
violently. His lips were parted over hjs teeth, 
the whites of his eyes glistened, he -seemed 
gasping and s|)ecchless with fear 

‘What’s the matter, Cato.^’ said Gowtland, 
glancing instinctiv<;ly at the ground beneath — 
• Speak, man ! — have you been bitten ?' 

The word seemed to wring an agonised cry 
from the miserable man. 

‘ Bitten ! No ; but don’t you hear ’em coming, 
sah ! God Almighty ! don’t you hear dat ? ’ 
■What!’ 

‘ I)e dogs ! de houns — de b^odhmns ! 
Dey’ve .set ’em loose on me ! ’ 

It was true ! A faint baying in die distance 
was now distinctly audible to Couftiand. He 



SALLY DOU'S 


i»5 

knew now •plainly the full, croeL p jrgprt of the 
leader’s speech, ‘ Those who could go ani|'where 
were tracking their game ! ’ 

Every trace of manhood had vanished from 
the negro’s cowering frame. Courtland laid his 
hand assuringly — appealingly, and then Savagely 
on his shoulder. J 

‘Come! Enough of this! I am here, and 
will stand by you whatever comes. These dogs 
are no more to be feared than the others. Rouse 
yourself, man, and at least help ntc make a fight 
of it.’ 

‘No! no!’ ; creamed the terrified man. 

‘ Lemme go Lemme go back to de Mas.sas ! 
Tell ’em I’ll come ! Tell ’em to call de houns off 
me, and I’ll go quiet ! Lemme go ! ’ He struggled 
violently in his companion’s grasp. 

In all Courtland’s .self-control, habits of cool- 
ness and discipline, it is to be feared there was 
still som<0iing of the old Berserker temper. His 
face was white, his eyes blazed in the darkness ; 
only his .yoice kept that level distinctness which 
made it foy a moment more terrible than even the 
bayit^ .of the tracking hounds to the negro’s ear, 

‘ Cato,’ hts said, ‘ attempt to run noV, and, by God ! 
I’ll save Ae d(^ the trouble of grappling your 
living caitase! Come here! Up that tr^ with 
you!’ — pointing to a swamp inagnolia~* Don’t 




SALLY DOWS 


''H? 

He haif-helped, half-dragged, tb * now pgjssive 
African to the solitary tree ; as Ihe- bay,#? a single 
hound came nearer, the negro convulsively 
scrambled from Courtland’s knee and shoulder 
to the fork of branches a dozen feet from th# 
ground. Courtland drew his revolver, and, step- 
ping back a few yards into the open, awaited the 
attack. 

It came unexpectedly from behind. A sudden 
yelp of panting cruelty and frenzied anticipation 
at Courtland's back, caused him to change front 
quickly, and the dripping fangs and snaky boa- 
like neck of a grey weird shadow passed him. 
With an aWful supernaturalness of instinct, it kept 
on fn an unerring line to the fateful tree. But that 
dread directness of scent was Courtland’s oppor- 
tunity. H is revolver flashed out in an aim as un- 
erring, I'he brute, pierced through neck and 
brain, dashed on against the tree in his impetus, 
and then rolled over against it in a (juivering bulk. 
Again another bay coming from the same direction 
told Courtland that his pursuers had outflanked 
him, and the whole pack were crossing the swamp. 
But he, was prepared; again the same weird 
shadow, as spectral and monstrous as a dream, 
dashed out into the brief light of the open, but 
this time it was stopped, and rolled oyer con- 
vulsively before it had crossed. Flushed, with 



ii8 * , SALLY DOWS ■ 

■■ .r‘ , ' ' ' ' 

fire of figHt in his veins, Courtland turned 
almost furiously from the fallen brutes at his feet 
to m^t- the .onset of the more cowardly hunters 
whom he knew were at his heels. At that moment 
it would have fared ill with the foremost. No 
longer the calculating steward and diplomatic 
manager, no longer the cool-headed arbiter of 
coiiflictihg interests, he was ready to meet them, 
not only with the; intrepid instincts of a soldier, 
but with an aroused partisan fury equal to their 
own. To his surprise no one followed ; the baying 
of a third hound seemed to be silenced and checked ; 
the silence was broken only by the sound of distant 
disputing voices, and the uneasy trampling of hoofs. 
'Fhis was followed by two or three rifle .shots in the 
distance, but iu)t either in the direction of the 
(juariers nor the Dows’ dwelling house.^,»:There 
evidently was .some interruption in the^pi^uit — 
a diversion of sv)me kind had taken — but 
ivhat he knew not. He could think^iSf no one 
who might have interfered on his behalf, and the 
shouting and wrangling seemed , to be carried on 
in the accents of the one sectional party. He 
called cautiously to Cato. The negfro’ 4»d not 
reply,' He crossed to the tree and shook it 
impatiently. Its boughs were empty ; Cato was 
gone ! The, mi^rable negro must havp taken ad- 
vantage of the first diversbn in his favour to 



SALLY DOWS 119 

escape. But where, and how, thieiv; was ndtliing 
left to indicate. 

As Courtland had taken little note of the trail, 
he had nd idea of his own whereabouts. He^ 
knew he must return to the fringe of cypress to be^ 
able to cross the open field and gain the negro 
quarters where it was still possible ’that Catb had 
fled. Taking a general direction from the few 
stars visible above the opening, he began to retrace 
his steps. Bu^ he had no longer the negro’s 
woodcraft to guide him. At times his feet were 
caught ‘railing vines which seemed to coil 
around his ankles with ominous suggestiveness ; 
at times the yielding soil beneath his tread showed 
his perilous proximity to the swamp, as well as 
the fact that he was beginning to incline towards 
that dread circle which is the hopeless instinct of 
all lost and strayirtg humanity. Luckily the edge 
of the swamp was more o[)en, and he would be 
enabled ^ correct his changed course again'^by 
the position of the stars. But he was becoming 
chilled and exhausted by these fruitless efforts, 
and at length, after a more devious and prolonged 
detour, which brought him back to the swamj) 
again, he resolved to skirt its edge in search of 
some other mode of issuance. Beyond him, the 
light ‘seemed stronger as of a more extended 
opening or clearing, and there was even^ super- , 



120 SAllV DOWS 

hcial gleam frQm tlie end of the swamp^tself, as if 
from some ignis fatuus on the glancing of a pool 
of unbroken water. A few rods farther brought 
him to it and a full view of the unencumbered ex- 
panse, Beyond him, far across the swamp, he 
could see a hillside bathed in the moonlight with 
symmetrical lines of small white squares dotting 
its slopes and stretching down into a valley of 
gleaming shafts, pyramids, and tombs. It was 
the cemetery ; the white squares on the hillside 
were the soldiers' graves. And among them even 
at that distance, uplifting solemnly, like a reproach- 
ful phantom, was the broken shaft above the dust 
of Chester Brooks. 

With the view of that fateful spot which he 
had not seen since his last meeting there with 
Sally Dows, a Hood of recollection rushed upon 
him. In the white mist that hung low along the 
further edge of the swamp he fancied he could see 
again the b;ittery smokt; through which t|j,e ghostly 
figure of the dead rider had charged his gun three 
years before ; in the vapoury white plumes of a 
funereal plant in the long avenue'he was reminded 
of the light figure of Miss Sally as she appeared 
at their last meeting. In another moment, in his 
already diued condition, he might have succumbed 
to some sensuous memory of her former fascina- 
tions, but he threw it off savagely now, with a 



SALLY L>OfYS 


121 

quick ancK bitter recalling of her deceit and his 
own weakness. Turning his back upon the scene 
with a half superstitious trgmor, he plunged once 
more into the trackless covert. But he was 
conscious that his eyesight was gradually growing 
dim and his strength failing. He was obliged 
from time to time to stop and rally his sluggish 
senses, that seemed to grow heavier under some 
deadly exhalation that flowed around him. He 
even seemed to hear familiar voices — but that must 
be delusion. At last he stumbled. Throwing out 
an arm to {.rotect himself, he came heavily dowh 
upon the ooze, striking a dull, half-elastic root 
that seemed — it must have been another delusion 
— to move bervt:ath him, and even — so confused 
were his senses now — to strike back angrily upon 
his prostrate arm. A sharp pain ran from his 
elbow to shoulder and for a moment stung him 
to full consciousness again. There zagfv voices 
surely — the voices of their former pursuers ! If 
they were seeking to revenge themselves upon 
him for Cato’s escape, he was ready for them. 
He cocked his revolver and stood erect. A torch 
flashed through t^^ w<x)d. But even at that 
moment a film came over his eyhs ; he staggered 
and fell. 

An interval oC, helpless semi-con^iousness 
epsued. He felt himself lifted by strong |lrm.s and 



122 


4 .yiLLY DOW^ 

carried forward, his arm hanging uselessly at his 
side. The dank odour of the wood was presently 
exchanged for the free air of the open field ; the 
fiamit^ pine-knot torches were extinguished in the 
bright moonlight. People pressed around him, but 
so indfetihctly he could not recognise them. All 
his consciousness seemed centred in the burning, 
throbbing pain of his arm. He felt himself laid 
U|K)n the gravel ; the .sleeve cut from his shoulder, 
th<! cool sensation of the hot and bursting skin 
bared to the night air, and then a soft, cool, and 
indescribable pressure upon a wound he had not 
felt before.. A voice followed — high, lazily petu- 
lant, and familiar to him, and yet one he strove in 
vain to recall. 

• De Lawdy-Gawd save us. Miss Sally ! Wot 
yo’ doin’ dah Chile ! Chile ! Yo’ll kill ypp'self, 
shuah!’ "" 

The pre.ssure continued — strange ijted potent 
even through hi.s pain — and was then withdrawn. 
And a voice that thrilled him said ; * 

‘It’s the only thing to save l»im 1 Hiish, ye 
chattering black crow ! Say anything about this 
to a living soul, and I'll hav^k^ Woggedl Now 
trot out the whisky bottle ahopour it down him.’ 



SALLV DOtyS 


123 


CHAPTER VI r 

When Courtland’s eyes opened again, he was inbed* 
in his own room at Redlands, with the vivid mbrn-^^ 
ing sun occasionally lighting up the wall whenever 
the. closely-drawn curtains were lightly blown 
aside by the freshening breeze. The whole events 
of the night might have been i dream, but- for the 
unsopjwrtable languor which numbed hiS senses, 
and the torpor of his arm, that, swollen and dis- 
coloured, ley outside the coverlet on a pillow be- 
fore him. Cloth' , that had been wrung out in iced 
water were replaced upon it from time to time 
by Sophy, Miss Dows’s housekeeper, who, seated 
near his bed-head, was lazily fanning him. Their 
eyes met. 

‘ Broken ? ’ he .said interrogatively, with a 
f.iint return of his old deliberate manner, glancing 
^t his helpless arm. 

‘ Deedy no, cun’nle ! Snake bite,’ resj>onded 
the negyess. 

' Snhke bite ! ’ repeated Courtland, with 
languid interest, ‘ what snake ?’ 

‘ Moccasin o’ copperhead — if you doun know 
yo’self which,' she replied. ‘ But it’s all right now, 
honey I Pe pizen’s draw’d out and cle^n done 
gone. Wot yer feels now is de whis4y- Pe 







SALLV DOWS 


I2S 


Some feint chord of memory w?s, touched, by 
the girl’s peculiar vocabulary. 

‘ Ah, said Courtland quickly, ‘ youVe ^Miss 
Dows’s Sophy. Then you can tell me— — ’ 

‘ Nufifin, sah ! absomlutely nufifin ! ' interrupted 
the girl, shaking her head with impressive official 
dignity. ‘It’s done gone fo’bid by de doctor! 
Yo’re to lie dar and shut yo’re eye, honey,’ she 
added, for the moment reverting unconsciously to 
the native maternal tenderness of her race, ‘ and 
yo’re not to bodder yo’self ef school keeps o’ not. 
De mediccl man say distinctly, sah,’ .she con-- 
clud'ed, sternly recalling her duty again, ‘ no con- 
versation wid de patient.’ 

But Courtland had winning ways with all de- 
pendents. ‘ But you will answer me one ques- 
tion, Sophy, and I’ll not ask another. Has’ — 
he hesitated, ii’. his still uncertainty as to the 
actuality of his experience and its probable extent 
. — ‘ has — Cato — 'escaped } ’ 

‘ If yo’ mean dat sassy, bull-nigger oberseer ob 
yo’se, cun’nle, k^s safe, yo’ bet I ’ returned Sophy, 
sharply. ‘ Safe In his own quo’ tabs night afo’ las’, 
after braggin’ about the blood-haowns he killed ; 
and safe ober the county line tyes’day moan’in, 
after kicking up all dis rumpus. If dar is a sassy, 
high falutin’ nigger I jiss ’spi.ses — it’s dat black 
nigger Cato o’ yo’se ! Now,’— relenting — ‘ yo’ 



26 


SAILV DOWS 


|iss wink yo^ eye, honey, and don t exoite yo self 
about snch black trash ; drap oflf to sleep com^ 
forble* Fo* yo do’ an get annuder word out o’ 
Sophy, shuah ! ’ 

As if in obedience, Courtland closed his eyes. 
But even in his wf^ak state he was conscious of the 
blood coming into his cheek at Sophy’s relentless 
crificLsm of the man for whom he had just perilled 
his Jif(i and position. Much of it he felt was true ; 
but how far had he been a dupe in his Quixotic 
defence of a quarrelsome blusterer and cowardly 
bully ? Yet there was the unmistak^tble shot and 
cold-blooded attempt at Cato’s assassination! 
And there were the bloodhounds sent to track the 
unfortunate man! That w'as no dream — but a 
brutal inexcusable tact ! 

The medical practitioner of Redlands he re- 
membered w^as conservative, old-fashioned, and 
dij)lomatic, But his sympathies had been 
broadened by some army experiences, and. 
Courtland trusted to some soldierly , and frank 
exposition of the matter from him. Nevertheless, 
Dr. Maynard was first healer, and, like* Sophy, 
professionally cautious. The Colonel had better 
not talk alx>ut itmow. h was already two days 
, old ; the Colonel had been nearly forty-eight 
hours in bed. h was a regrettable .affair, but 
the natural climax of long-continu^ ^ political 
and ‘ racial irritation — and not witltWt gr^at 



SA4^ DOWS 


127 


provocation ! Assas^^j^oo was a strong word ; 
could Colonel Coui^^&swear^h^ Cato jtras 
actually aimed af, or wais it not merely a demdn- 
stration to frighten a bullying negro ? -It might 
have been necessary to teach him a lesson— 
which the Colonel by this time ought to know 
could only be taught to these inferior races l>y 
fear. The bloodhounds ! Ah, yes ! — well, uie 
bloodhounds were, in fact, only a part of that 
wholesome discipline. Surely Colonel Courtland 
was not so foolish as to believe that, even in the 
old slave-h'dding days, jdanters sent dogs after 
runawa) s to mangle and destroy their own pro- 
perty > They might as well, at once, let them 
escape! No, sit! They were used only to 
frighten and drive the niggers out of swamps, 
brakes, and hiding-places — as no nigger had ever 
ilared to face ’em Cato might lie as much as he 
liked, but everybody knew who it was that killed 
Major Reed’s hounds. Nobody blamed the 
Colonel for it-— not even Major Reed — but if the 
Colonel had lived a little longer in the South 
he’d have known it wasn’t necessary to do that in 
self-preservation, as the hounds would never have 
gone for a white man. But that was not a matter 
for the Colonel to bother about now. He was 
doing |well ; he had slept nearly thirty hours ; 
there Was ttO fever, he must continue to doze off 
the exhaustion of his powerful stimul^t, ^nd 



I3S . .SAIJA' DOWS 

he, the doctor, would return later the after- 
noon. 

Perhaps it was his very inability to grasp in 
that exhausted state the full comprehension of the 
doctor’s meaning, perhaps because the physical 
benumbing of his brain was stronger than any 
mental excitement, but he slept again until the 
doctor reappeared. ‘ You’re doing well enough 
now. Colonel,’ said the physician, after a brief 
examination of his patient, ‘ and I think we can 
afford to wake you up a bit, and even let you 
move your arm. You’re luckier than poor Jo 
Higbee, who won’t be able to set his leg to the 
floor for three weeks to come. I haven’t got all 
the buck-.shot out of it yet that Jack Dumont put 
there the other night.’ 

Courtland started slightly. J.ick Dumont ! 
That was the n.ime of S.iJly Duws's cousin of 
whom Champney had spoken ! He had resolutely 
put aside from his returning memory the hazy re- 
collection of the young girl’s voice — the last thing 
he had hetird that night — and the mystery that 
seemed to surround it. But there was no delusion 
in this cousin — his rival, and that' of the equally 
deceived Champney. He controlled himself and 
rej^eatect coldly : 

' Jack Dumont ! ’ 

‘ Yes. But of course you knew nothing of all 



SALLY DOWS 


129 


that, while you were off in the swany^ tl^ere. Yet, 
by Jitigo! it was Dumont’s shooting Higbee that 
helped yon to get off your nigger, a darned sight 
more th^n your killing the dogs.’ 

‘ I don’t understand,’ returned ' Courtland 
coldly, 

' Well, you see, Dumont, who had taken up 
No’th’n principles, I reckon, more to goad the 
Higbees and please Sally Dows than from any 
conviction, came over here that night. Whether 
he suspected anything was up, or wanted to dare 
Higbee bedevilment, or was only dancing 
attendance on Miss Sally, no one knows. But he 
rode slap into Higbee’s party, called out “ If you’re 
out hunting, Jo, here’s a chance for your score ! ’ 
meaning their old vendetta feud, and brings his 
shot-gun up to his shoulder. Higbee wasn’t 
quick enough, Dumont lets fly, drops Higbee, 
and then gallops off chased by the Reeds to 
avenge Higbee, and followed by the whole crowd 
to see the fun, which was a little better than 
nigger-'driving... And that let you and Cato out, 
colonel.* 

* And Dumont ’ 

« ‘ Got clean aWay to Foxbo|;o’^ Station, leaying 
another score on his side fof ,,„the Reeds and 
Higbees to wipe out as best they can. You 
No’th’n men don’t believe in these sort pf things, 



SALLY nOlVS 


130 

$ 

colonel, but taken as a straight dash and bit o' 
raiding, that stroke of Sally Dows's cousin was 
mighty fine ! ’ 

Courtland controlled himself with difficulty. 
The doctor had spoken truly. The hero of this 
miserable affair was her cousin — his rival] And 
to him — perhaps influenced by some pitying 
appeal of Miss Sally for the man she had decei\ ed 
— Courtland owed his life ! He instinctively drew 
a quick, sharp breath. 

‘ Are you in pain ? ’ 

‘ Not at all. \\ hen can I gel up ?’ 

‘ Perhaps to-morrow.’ 

‘ And this arm ? ’ 

‘Better not use it for a week or two.’ I b* 
stopped, and, glancing pateriialiy at tlie younger 
man, added gravely but kindly : ‘if you’ll take my 
unprofessional adxice. C< >!onel C<.>arlland, you’ll 
let this matter simmer down. It won't hurt )(>u 
and your affairs here that folks ha\ e had a tasU! 
of your quality, and the nigger a lesson that his 
fellows wont forget.’ 

‘ I thank you/ returned Courtland coldly ; * but 
I think I already understand my duty to the 
company I represent and the flovernment' I have 

‘ Possibly, colonel,’ said the doctor quietly ; 

‘ but you’ll let an older man remind you and the 




SALLY DOWS 


I3f 


GovenimeAt that you can t change the habits or 
relations of two distinct races in a few years. 


Your friend, Miss Sally 
Dows — although not 
quite in my way of 
thinking — has never 
attempted i/iaL' 

* I am fully aware 
that Miss Dows pos- 
sesses diplomatic accom- 
plishments and graces 
that I cannot lay claim 
to/ returned Courtland 
bitterly. 

The doctor lilted his 
eyei>rows slightly, aiul 
changed the subject. 

\V hen he had gone, 
Courtland called for 
writing materials. He 
heal already made uj) 
his min<l, and one course 
alone seemed [)roper to 
him. He wrote to the 
president of the com- 
pany, detailing the cir- 
cumstances that had just 
occurred, admitting the 



*ir You i,l. TAKU MV IW- 

»'KOI KSSIUNAU Ain It e, colonel 

O'UKtl.AND, VOUYt I O' nm* 
M A n F K b I M M h K DOW .N * 



132 


SALLY DOWS 


alleged provocation given by his overseer, but 
pointing out the terrorism of a mob-law, which 
rendered his own discipline impossible. He asked 
that the matter be reported to W'ashington, and 
some measures taken for the protection of the 
freedmen. In the meantime he begged to tender 
his own resignation, but he would stay until his 
successor was a[)pointed, or the safety of his 
employds secured. Until then, he should act upon 
his own responsibility, and according to his judg- 
ment. He made no personal charges, mentioned 
no names, asked for no e.\em[)lary prosecution or 
trial of the offenders, but only demanded a safe- 
guard against a repetition of tht; offence. His 
next letter, although less formal and official, was 
more difficult. It was addressed to the Com- 
mandant of the nearest I'ederai barracks, who was 
an old friend and former companion- in-arm.s. He 
alluded to some conversation they had previously 
exchanged in regard to the presence of a small 
detachment of troops at Redlands during the 
elections, which Courtland at the time, however, 
had diplomatically opposed. He suggested it 
now as a matter of public expediency and preven- 
tion. When he' had sealed the letters, not caring to 
expose them to the es{)ionage of the local post- 
master or his ordinary servants, he entrusted them 
to one of Miss Sally’s own henchmen, to be posted 



SALLY DOWS 


>33 

at the ne»t office, at Bitter Creefc Station, ten 
miles distant. 

Unfortunately, this duty acccomplished, the 
reaction consequent on his still weak physical 
condition threw him back upon himself and his 
memory. He had resolutely refused to thinjc of 
Miss Sally; he had been able to withstand the 
suggestions of her iii the presence of her hand- 
maid — supposed to be potent in nursing and herb- 
lore — whom she had detachetd to wait upon him, 
and he had. returned politely formal acknowledg- 
ments to her inquiries. He had determined to 
continue this personal avoidance as fartis possible 
until he was relieved, on the ground of that btisi- 
tu’ss expediency which these events had made 
necessary. She' would see that he wits only 
accepting the arguments with which she had met 
his previous advances. Briefly, he had recourse 
to that hoiteless logic by which ;i m.in proves to 
himself that he has no reason for loving a certain 
woman, and is as incontestably convinced by the 
samf. process that he has. And in the midst of it 
he weakly fell tisleep, tind drciimcd that he and 
Miss Sally were walking in the cemetery ; that a 
hideous snake concealed among »som'e lilies, over 
which the young girl was bending, had uplifted its 
, triangular head to strike. That he seized it by 
the neck, struggled with it until he was nearly 



134 


SALLY DOWS 


exhausted, when it suddenly collapsed and shrunk, 
leaving in his palm the limp, crushed, and delicately 
perfumed little thread glove which he remembered 
to have once slipped from her hand. 

When he awoke, that [icrfume seemed to be, 
still in the air, distinct from the fresh but home- 
lier scents of the garden which stole through the 
window. A sense of delicious coolness came with 
the afternoon breeze, that faintly trilled the 
slanting slats of the blind with a slumberous 
humming as of bec.-s. The golden glory of a 
sinking southern sun was j)encilling the cheap 
paper on the wall with leafy tracery and glowing 
arabesques. But more than that, tlu; calm of 
some potent influence — or some unseen juesence 
— was upon him, which he feared a movement 
might dis])(“l. The chair at the foul of his bed 
was empty. Sophy had gone out. lie did not 
turn his head to look further : his languid eyes 
falling aimlessly upon the carpet at his bedside 
suddenly dilated, b'or they fell also on the 
‘ smallest foot in the .StaU .’ 

He started to his elbow, but a soft hand was 
laid gently yet firmly upon his shoulder, and with 
a faint rustle of muslin skirts Miss Sally rose 
from an unseen chair at the head of his bed, and 
stood beside him. 

‘ Don’t stir, co’nnle, I didn’t sit where I could 



SALLY DOWS 


*35 


I ' 

look in yoVe face for fear of waking yo’. But I’ll 
change seats now.’ She moved to the chair which 
Sophy had vacated, drew it slightly nearer the 
bed, and sat df)wn. 

‘ It was very kind of you — to come,’ said 
Courtland, hesitatingly, as with a strong (effort he 
drew his eyes awa)' from the fascinating vision, 
and regained a certain cokl composure, ‘ but I am 
afraid my illness has been greatly magnified. I 
really am (juite well enough to be up and about 
my business, if the doctor would |H.'rmit it. But 
1 shall certainly manage to attend to my duty to- 
morrow, and I hope to b<- at your service.’ 

‘ Meaning that yo' don’t care to see me vow, 
co'nnle,’ she said lightly, with a faint twinkle in 
her wise, sweet eyes. ‘ 1 thought of that, but, as 
my business wou'dn t wait, 1 brotight it to you.’ 
•She took from th«‘ f<»lds of lu-r gown a letter. To 
his utter amazement it was the one he had given 
his overs'cer to ])ost to the Commandant that 
morning. To his gre.iter indignation the seal was 
broken. 

‘ Who has dared ?' he demanded, half rising. 

Her little hand was thrust out half deprecat- 
ingly. ‘ No one yo’ can fight, co'nnle ; only fno. 
1 don’t generally open other folks’ letters, and 
I wouldn’t have done it for viysc//; I did for yo’.' 

‘ For me ? ’ 



SALIV nows 


136 

‘ For yo\ I reckoned what yd might do, and 

1 told Sam to bring me the letters first. I didn’t 

mind what yo’ wrote to the company — for they’ll 

take care of j o’, and their own eggs are all in the 

same basket. I didn’t ojien that one» but I did 

/^/Vwhen I saw the address. It was as I expected, 

and yO'd given yo’self away ! For if yd had those 

soldiers down hcrt\ yo’ll have a row, sure! Don’t 

move, co’nnle, may not care for that, it’s in 

line, but folks will say that the soldiers weren’t 

sent to prevent 7'io/h/g, but that Co’nnle Courtland 

was using his old comrades to kee|) order on his 

property at (iov’m( iu expemse. HoF on! IIoF 

on ! co’nnle/ said th(‘ little figurt^ rising and 

waving Its pretty arms with a mischievous^Simu- 

Iation of terrified deprecation. ‘ Don’t shoot! Of 

course yo' didn’t mean that, but that’s* about 
•' * 

the way that Sn'th'ii inc-ii will |)Mt it to yo’r 
G()v’mciu. J'or,’ sh<’ ci>ntiiuied, more'i^ntly, 
yet with the shrewdest twinkle in her eyes. 

‘ if yo’ n^ally thought the niggers might need 
1‘ederal protection, ) o’ld have let WAf write to the 
Commandant tf) semi an escort-*-hot to _yo’, but 
to Cafo — that //e might be able to come back in 
safety. Yo’kl have had yo’r soldiers ; I’d have 
had back my nigger, whic^’ (demurely) ‘yo’ 
don’t seem to worry yo’self much about, co’nnle ; 
and there isn’t a So’th’n man would have objected. 



sA/xy nows 137 

But,’ still TOOfe 'demurely, and affectedly smooth- 
ing out her crisp skirt with her little hands, ‘ yo’ 
havn't been troubling me much with yo’r counsel 
lately.’ 

A swift and utterly new comprehension swept 
over Courtland. For the first time in his know- 
ledge of her he suddenly grasped what was, 
perhaps, the true conception of her character. 
Looking at her clearly now. he understood the 
meaning of those jiliant graces, so unaffected and 
yet always controlled by tht; reasoning of an un- 
biassed intellect ; her frank speech, and plausible 
intonations ! Before him stood the true-born 
daughter of a long race of politicians ! All that 
he had heard of their dcxtcTity, tact, and expe- 
diency ros(^ here incarnate, with the added grace 
of womanhood. A strange sense of relief — jierhaps 
a dawning of ho|)e — stole over him. 

‘ But how will this (msure Cato’s safety here- 
after, or give protection to the < ithers ? ’ he said, 
fixing his eyes ui^on her. 

‘ The future won’t concern yo much, co’nnle, 
if as yo’ .say here yo’r resignation is sent in, and 
yo’r succe.ssor appointed,’ she replied, with more 
gravity than she had previously shown. 

‘ But you do not think 1 will leave jow in this 
uncertainty,’ he said passionately, lie stopped 
suddenly, his brow darkened. ‘ I forgot,' he added 



T38 


SALLY DOWS 


coldly — ^ you will be well protected/ Yo«r — cousin 
— will give you the counsel of race — and — closer 
ties/ 

To his infmilo astonishment, Miss Sally leaned 
forward in he r ch<iir and buried her laughing face 
in' botli of lu r hands. WIkmi Ikt dimples had 
beco?iie again visible, she said with an efif(3rt, 
‘ Don’t )’o’ think, co’nnle, that as a peace-maker 
my cousin was even a bigger failure* than yo’self?’ 

‘ I don’t understand,’ stammered Courtland. 

^ Don’t yo’ think/ she continued, wiping her 
eyes dennurely, ‘ tliat if a young woman about my 
si/as wIk) had got perfectly tired and sick of all 
this fuss made* about ref , l)(!caus(* yo’ were a No’th’n 
man, managing niggers — if that young woman 
wante^d to show her peoples what sort of a radical 
and a])olitionist a So Hi u man of their own sort 
might become*, sh(‘’d ha\ e* seait lor jack Dumont 
as a sample ? lih ? Only, i declare to goexlness, 
/ ne:vea* reckone'd tint he* and 1 ligl)ee would revive; 
the tomfooling ed the* rcfidc/ia, and take to shootin’ 
(‘ach other at once;/ 

‘ And ye)ur sending for your ce)usin was only 
a feint to protect me ?’ said Courtland faintly. 

‘ Perhaps hc?“ didn’t have to be senf for 
co’nnle/ she said, with a slight touch of coquetry 
‘ Suppose we; say, 1 hi /ji?n come. He’d be hang- 
ing round, for he has property here, and wanted 



SALLY DOWS 


Tt39 

to get meio take it up with mine iu the company. 
I knew what his new views and ideas were, and I 
thought rd bett(T consult Champney — who, being 
a foreigner, and an older resident than yo’, was 
quite neutral. He didn’t happen to tell anything 
about it — did he, co’nnle ? ’ she added with a grave 
mouth, but an indescril:)able twinkle in her eyes. 

Courtland’s face darkened. * He did — and he 
further told me, Miss Dows, tiiat he himself was 
your suitor, and that you had refused him because 
of the objections of your people.’ 

She raised her eyc^s to his swiftly and dropped 
them. 

‘ And you think I ought to have accepted him ?’ 
she said, slowly. 

‘ No ! but — you know — you told me ’ he 

began hurriedly, ^ But she. had already risen, and 
was shaking out the folds of her dress. 

‘ We’re not talking /fnsincss, co’nnle — and 
business was my only excuse for coming here, and 
taking Sophy’s place. I’ll send her in to yo’, now.’ 

‘ But, Miss Dows! — Miss Sally ! ’ 

She stopped — hesitated — a singular weakness 
for so self-contained a nature — and then slowly 
produced from her pocket a second letter — the 
one that Courtland had directed to the company. 

' I didn’t read this letter, as I just told yo,’ co’nnle, 
for I reckon I know what’s in it, but I thought I’d 



140 


SALLY DOWS 


bring it with me too, in case yo change ydr 
mind.' 

He raised himself on his pillow as she turned 

(- 

■ 

her bright face he 
saw what neither 
he nor an)^ one else 
had ever seen upon 
the face of Sally 


‘Miss Sally!’ 
He almost leaped 
from the bed, but 
she wa.s gone. 
There was another 
rustle at the door 
— the entrance of 
Sophy. 

‘ Call her back, 
Sophy, quick ! ’ he 
said. 



SHK STOl’PEI) — IW'.SITATEl) - A SIN- 
GULAR WEAKNESS KOR SO SELI -CONTaIN K h 
A NATURE 


The negress 
shook her turbaned 


head. ‘Not much, honey! When Miss Sally 
say she goes— she done gone, shuah ! ’ ' 



SALLY DOWS 


141 

‘ But, ^o[>hy ! ’ Perhaps S9mething in the 
significant face of the girl tempted him ; perhaps 
it was only an impulse of his forgotten youth, 
‘Sophy!' appealingly — ‘tell me! — is Miss Sally 
engaged to her cousin ? ' 

‘ Wat dat ? ’ said Sophy, in indignant scorn. 
‘ Miss Sally engaged to dat Dumont ! What fo’ ? 
Yo’r crazy! No!’ 

‘ Nor Champney ? Tell me, Sophy, has she a 
lover ? ’ 

P'or a moment the w'hites of Sophy’s eyes were 
uplifted in speechless scorn. ‘Yo’ask dat! Yo’ 
lyin’ dar wid dat snake-bit arm ! Yo’ lyin’ dar, 
and Miss Sally— who has only to whistle to call 
de fusi quality in de State raoun her — coming and 
going here wid you, and trotting on yo’r arrants — 
and yo’ ask dat ! Yes ! she has a lover, and what’s 
mo,’ she can t help it ; and yo’re her lover ; and 
what’s mo,’ yo can’t help it either ! And yo’ can’t 
back out of it now — bofe of yo’ — nebber! Fo’ 
yd re hers, and she’s y o’ res — fo’ ebber. For she 
sucked yo’ blood,’ 

‘ What ! ’ gasped Courtland, aghast at what he 
believed to be the sudden insanity of the negress. 

‘Yes! Whar’s yo’ eyes? whar’s yo’ years? 
who's yo’ dat yo’ didn’t see nor heah nuffin ? When 
dey dragged yo’ outer de swamp dat night — wid 
de snake-bite fresh on yo’ arm— didn’t she, dat poh 



i42 


SALU^ DOWS 


chile! — dat same Miss Sally — frow herself down on 
yo,’ and put dat baby mouf of hers to de Wound 
and suck out de pizen and sabc de life ob yo’ at 
de risk ob her own ? Say ? And if dey’s any 
troof in Hoodoo, don’t dat make yo’ one blood 
and one soul ! Go way, white man ! I’m sick of 
yo’. Stop dar! Lie down dar ! Hoi’ on, cb’nnle, 
for massy’s sake. Well, dar — I'll call her back I ’ 

And she did ! 

‘ Look here — don’t you know — it rather took 
me by surprise,’ said Champney, a few days later, 
with a hearty grip of the Colonel’s uninjured 
hand — ‘ but I don’t bear malice, old fellow, and, 
by Jove ! it was such a sensible, all-round, business- 
like choice for the girl to make that no wonder 
we never thought of it before. Hang ;t nil, you 
see a fellow was always so certain it would be 
something out of the way and detrimental, don’t 
you know, that would take the fancy of a girl like 
that — somebody like that cousin of hers or Higbee, 
or even me, by Jove! that we never thought of 
looking beyond our noses — never thought of the 
business ! And you, all the time so cold and silent 
and matter-of-faCt about it ! But I congratulate 
you! You’ve got the business down on a safe 
basis now, and what’s more, you’ve got the one 
woman who can run it.’ 



SALLY DOWS 


143 


They say he was a true prophet. At least the 
Syndicate affairs prospered, and In course of time 
eyen the Reeds and the Higbees participated in 
the benefits. There were no more racial disturb- 
ances ; only the districts polled a peaceful and 
s,)iall€r Democratic majority at the next election. 
There were not wanting those who alleged that 
Colonel Courtland had sim[)]y become Mrs. 
Court land s snper'uifcndent ; that she had absorbed 
him as she had every one who had come under 
her influence, and that she would not rest until 
she had made him a Senator (to represent Mrs. 
Courtland) In the councils of the nation. But 
when 1 last dined with them in Washington, ten^ 
) ears a|;o, I found them both very happy and 
comfortable, and 1 remember that Mrs. Courtland’s 
remarks upon Federal and State interests, the 
projier education of young girls, and the manage- 
ment* of the family, were eminently wise and 
practical. 



144 


THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

PART I 

On the northerly shore of San Francisco Bay a 
line of bluffs terminates in a promontory, at whose 
base, formed by the crumbling ddbris of the cliff 
above, there is a narrow stretch of beach, salt 
meadow, and scrub oak. The abrupt wall of rock 
behind it seems to isolate it as completely from 
the mainland as the sea before it se[>r;rates it from 
the opposite shore. In s[)ite of its contiguity to 
San Francisco — opposite also, but hidden by the 
sharp re-entering curve of coast — the locali^ was 
wild, uncultivated, and unfrequented. A solitary 
fisherman’s cabin half-hidden in the rocks was the 
only trace of habitation. White drifts of sea-gulls 
and pelican across the face of the cliff, grey clouds 
of sandpipers rising from the beach, the dripping 
flight of ducks over the salt meadows, and the 
occasional splash of a seal from the rocks, were 
the only signs of life that could be seen from the 
decks of passing ships. And yet the fisherman’s 



THE CONSriRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 145 

cabin was «occupied by Zephas Bunker and his 
young wife, and he had succeeded in wresting 
from the hard soil pasturage for a cow and goats, 
while his lateen-sailed fishing-boat occasionally' 
rode quietly in the sheltered cove below. 

Three years ago Zephas Bunker, an ex- 
whaler, had found himself stranded on a San 
Francisco wharf and had ‘ hired out ’ to a small 
Petaluma farmer. At the end. of a year, he had 
acquired little taste for the farmer’s business, but 
considerable for the farmer’s youthful daughter, 
who, equally weary of small agriculture, had con- 
sented to elope with him in order to escape it. 
They were married at Oakland ; he put fiis scant 
earnings into a fishing-boat, discovered the site 
for his cabin, and brought his bride thither. The 
m velty of the change pleased her, although 
perhaps it was but little advance on her previous 
humble position. Y et she preferred her present 
freedom to the bare restricted home life of her 
past ; the perpetual presence of the restless sea 
was a relief to the old monotony of the wheat field 
and its isolated drudgery. For Mary’s youthful 
fancy, thinly sustained in childhood by the lightest 
literary food, had neither been -stimulated nor 
disillusioned by her marriage. That practical 
experience which is usually the end of girlish 
romance had left her still a child in sentiment 



146 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


The long absences of her husband in this fishing- 
boat kept her from wearying of or even knowing 



his older and unequal 
companionship ; it 
gave her a freedom 
her girlhood had 
never known, yet 
added a protection 
that suited her still 
childish dependency, 
while it tickled her 
I ride with its(X}uality. 
\\'h(!n not(mgaged in 
luT (^asy household 
duties in hvs three- 
roomtxl cottage, or 
thccar(‘ of her rocky 
gard’H i)atch, she. 
loiind iim(‘ enough 
to indulge her fancy 
over the mysterious 
haze that wrapped 
the invisible city so 
near and yet un- 
known to her in* 


the sails that slipped 
in and out of th<' Ciold(‘n Gate, but of whose; 


destination she knew nothing ; and in the long 


THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


147 


smoke trait of the mail steamer which had yet 
brought her no message. Like all dwellers by 
the sea, her face and her thoughts were more 
frequently turned^wards it ; and as with them, 
it also seemed to her that whatever change was 
coming into her life would come across that vast 
unknown expanse. But it was here that Mrs. 
Bunker was mistaken. 

It had been a sparkling summer morning. 
The waves were running before the dry North- 
west Trade; win Is with crystalline but colourless 
brilliancy. .Shelt(;red by the high, northerly bluff, 
the house and its garden were exposed to the un- 
temj)ered heat of the cloudless sun refracted from 
the rocky wall behind it. .Some tarpaulin and ropes 
lying among the rocks w(Te sticky and odorous ; 
the scrub oaks and manzanita bushes gave out 
the .aroma of baking wood ; occasionally a faint 
pot-p07trri fragrance from the hot wild roses and 
beach grass was blown along the shore; even the 
lingering odours of Bunker’s vocation, and of Mrs. 
Bunker’s cooking, were idealised and refined by the 
.saline breath of the sea at the doors and windows. 
Mrs. Bunker, in the dazzling sun, bending over 
her peas and lettuces with a small hoe, felt the 
comfort of her brown holland sun-bonnet. Secure 
in her isolation, .she unbuttoned the neck of her 
gown for air, and did not put up the -strand of 



48 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


black hair that had escaped over he?- shoulder. 
It was very hot in the lee of the bluff, and very 

quiet in that still 




air. So quiet that 

distinct reports, 
j jl following each 

^ ‘ other quickly, but 

very^faint and far. 

‘"I ■ merchantmen ' in 

schooner were 

point, but there 
" was no - smoke 

' from their decks. 

^ She bent over her 

SHh Cil,AN( r.l> M.»\V \Rl>s riiK SEA 

work again, and in 
another moment had forgotten ' it. But the 
heat, with the dazzling reflection from the cliff, 
forced her to suspend her gardening, and stroll 




w 

y<Tr 


SHE c;i,ANrr.i> M.»\v \Ri>s iuk sea 



the conspiracy of MRS. BUNKER 149 


along the 'beach to the extreme limit of fier 
domain. Here she looked after the cow, that had 
also strayed away through the tangled bush for 
coolness. The goats, impervious to temperature, 
were basking in inaccessible fastnesses on the cliff 
itself that made 
her eyes ache to 
climb. Over an 
hour passed, she 
was returning, 
and had nearf d 
her house; when 
she was suddenly 
startled to see 
the figure of a 
man between her 
and the cliff. He 
was engaged in 
brushing hisdusty 
clothes with a 
handkerchief, and 
although he saw 
her coming, and even moved slowly towards her, 
continued his occupation with a half-impatient, 
half-abstracted air. Her feminine perception was 
struck with the circumstance that he was in deep 
'black, with scarcely a gleam of white showing 
even at his throat, and that he wore a tall black 



HKUsllINC. Ills nUsl'V (I.OIHKS 



150 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

hat. Without knowiilg anything of •social cus- 
toms, it seemed to her that his dress was incon- 
sistent with his appearance there. 

‘ Good morning/ he said, lifting his hat with a 
preoccupied air. ‘ Do you live here ?’ 

* Yes,' she said wonderingly. 

* Anybody else 

* My husband/ 

' I mean any other peoples ? Are there any 
other houses ?’ he said with a slight impatience. 

‘ No.’ 

He looked at her and then towards the sea. 
* I expect some friends who are coming for me in 
a boat. 1 suppose they can land easily here ? ’ 

‘ 1 )idn’t you yourself land here just new } ’ she 
said quickly. 

He half hesitated, and then, as if scorning 
an equivocation, made a hasty gesture over her 
shoulder and said bluntly, ' No, I came over the 
cliff.’ 

‘ Down the cliff?’ she repeated incredulously. 

‘ Yes,’ he said, glancing at his clothes ; ' it was 
a rough scramble, but the goats showed me the 
way.’ 

* And you vv‘ere up on the bluff all the time ? ’ 
she went on curiously. 

‘ Yes. You see — 1 he stopped suddenly 

at what seemed to be the beginning of a pre- 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 151 

arranged ^hd plausible explanation, as if impatient 
of its weakness or hypocrisy, and said brieBy : 
‘ Yes — I was there.’ 

Like most women, more observant of his face 
and figure, she did not miss this lack of explana- 
tion, He was a very good-looking man of middle 
age, with a thin, proud, high-bred face, which in a 
country of bearded men had the further distinction 
of being smoothly shaven. She had never seen 
anyone like him before. vShe thought he looked 
like an illustradon of some novel she had read, 
but also somewhat melancholy, worn, and tired. 

‘ Won’t you come in and rest yourself.^’ she 
said, motioning to the cabin. 

‘ Thank you,’ he said, still half absently. ‘ Per- 
haps I’d better. It may be some time yet before 
they come.’ 

She led the way to the cabin, entered the 
living room — a plainly furnished little apartment 
between the bedroom and the kitchen — pointed to 
a large bamboo armchair, and placed a bottle of 
whisky and some water on the table before him. 
He thanked her again very gently, poured out 
some spirits in his glass, and mixed it with water. 
But when she glanced towards him again he had 
apparently risen without tasting it, and going to 
the door was standing there with his hand in the 
breast of his buttoned frock coat, gazing silently 



152 THE, CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

, , ■ • • ' ' ' 

towards the sea. There was somethirfg vaguely 
historical in his attitude — or what she thought 
might be historical — as of somebody of great im- 
portance who had halted on the eve of some great 
event at the door of her humble cabin. 

Hi§ apparent unconsciousness of her and of 
his surroundings, his pre-occupation with .some- 
thing far beyond her ken, far from piquing her, 
only excited her interest the more. And then 
there was such an odd sadness in his'eyes. 

‘ Are you anxious for your folks coming ? ’ she 
said at last, following his outlook. 

‘ I — oh no ! ’ he returned, quickly recalling him- 
•self, ‘they’ll be sure to come — sooner or later. 
No fear of that,’ he added half smilingly, half 
wearily. 

Mrs. Bunker passed into the kitchen, where, 
while apparently attending to her household duties, 
she could still observe her singular guest. Left 
alone, he seated himself mechanically in the chair, 
and gazed fixedly at the fireplace. He remained 
a long time so (juiet and unmoved, in spite of the 
marked ostentatious clatter Mrs. Bunker found 
it necessary to make wdth her dishes, that an odd 
fancy that he was scarcely a human visitMt began 
to take possession of her. Yet she was not 
frightened. She remembered distinctly afterwards 
that, far from having any concern for herself, she 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 153 


was only /hoved by a strange and vague admira- 
tion of him. 

But her prolonged scrutiny was not without 
effect. Suddenly he raised his dark eyes, and 





J54 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

Then he rose, stretched himself to his full height, 
and approaching the kitchen door leaned listlessly 
against the door-post. 

‘ I don’t suppose you are ever lonely here ? ’ 

‘ No, sir.’ 

' Of course not. You have yourself and 
hu::,band. Nobody interferes with you. You are 
contented and hap[)y tog(^ther.’ 

Mrs. Bunker did not say, what was the fact, 
that she had never before connected the sole 
companionship of her husband with her happiness. 
Perhaps it had never occurred to her until that 
moment how little it had to do with it. She only 
smiled gratefully at the change in her guest’s 
abstraction. 

‘Do you often go to San Praiicisco ? ’ he 
continued. 

‘ I have never bc^en there at all. Some day I 
ex[)ect we will go there to live.’ 

‘ I wouldn’t advise you to,’ he said, looking at 
her gra\ ely. ‘ I don’t think it will pay you. 
You’ll never be ha[)|)y there as here. You’ll 
never have the independence and freedom you 
have here. You’ll never be your own mistress 
again. But how does it haj^pen you never were 
in San Francisco he said suddenly. 

If he would not talk of himself, here at least 
>vas a chance for Mrs. Bunker to say something. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 155 

She related how her family had emigrated from 
Kansas across the plains and had taken up a 
‘location’ at Contra Costa. How she didn’t care 
for it, and how she came to marry the seafaring 
man who brought her here — all with great sim- 
plicity and frankness and \ as unieservedly as to 
a superior being — albeit his aiteiition wandered 
at times, and a rare but melancholy smik‘ that he 
had apparently evoked to meet her conversational 
advances became fixed occasionally. I\ven his 
dark eyes, whi< h had obliged Mrs. Hunker to put 
up her hair, and button her collar, rested upon 
her without seeing her. 

‘ Then your luisband’s name is Hunker?’ he 
said when she paused at last. ‘That’s one of 
those Nantucket Ouaker names— sailors and 
whalers for generations — and yours, you say, was 
MacEwan. Well, Mrs, Bunker, jw/r family came 
from Kentucky to Kansas only lately, though I 
suppose your father calls himself a h'ree-States 
man. You ought to know something of farming 
and cattle, for yolir ancestors were old Scotch 
Covenanters who emigrated a hundred years ago, 
and were great stock raisers.’ 

All this seemed only the aiatural omniscience 
of a superior being. And Mrs. Bunker perhaps 
was not pained to learn that her husband’s family 
was of a lower degree than her own. But the 



156 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

stranger’s knowledge did not end tlfcre. He 
talked of her husband’s business — he explained 
the vast fishing resources of the bay and coast. 
He showed her how the large colony of Italian 
fishermen were inimical to the interests of 
California and to her husband — particularly as a 
n^itive American trader. He told her of the 
volcanic changes of the bay and coast line, of the 
formation of the rocky ledge on which she lived. 
He pointed out to her its value to the Government 
for defensive purposes, and how it naturally com- 
manded the entrance of the Golden Gate far better 
than Fort Point, and that it ought to be in its 
hands. If the F'ederal Government did not buy 
it of her husband, certainly the State of California 
should. And here he fell into an abstraction as 
dee]) and as gloomy as before. He walked to the 
window, paced the floor with his hand in his breast, 
went to the door, and finally step|)ed out of the 
cabin, moving along the ledge of rocks to the 
shore, where he stood motionless. 

Mrs. Bunker had listened to him with parted 
lips and eyes of eloquent admiration. She had 
never before heard anyone talk like that — she had. 
not believed it 'possible that anyone could have 
such knowledge. Perhaps she could not under- 
stand all he said, but she would try to remember 
it after he had gone. She could only think now 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 157 

how kind tt was of him that in all tnis mystery of 
his coming, and in the singular sadness that was 
oppressing him, he should try to interest her. 
And thus looking at him, and wondering, an idea 
came to her. 

She went into her bedroom and took down her 
husband’s heavy pilot overcoat and sou’-wester, 
and handed them to her guest. 

‘ You’d better put them on if you’re going to 
stand there,’ she .said. 

‘ But I am ’,ot cold,’ he said, wonderingly. 

‘ But you might be seen' she said simply. 

It was the hrst suggestion that had passed 
between them that his presence there was a secret. 
He looked at her intently, then he smiled and 
.said, ‘ I think you’re right, for many reasons,’ put 
the pilot coat over his frock coat, removed his hat 
with the gesture of a bow, handed it to her, and 
placed the sou’-wester in its stead. Then for an 
instant he hesitated as if about to speak, but Mrs. 
Bunker, with a delicacy that she could not herself 
comprehend at the moment, hurried back to the 
cabin without giving him an opportunity. 

Not did she again intrude upon his meditations. 
Hidden in his disguise, which toiler eyes did not, 
however, seem to conceal his’characteristic figure, 
he wandered for nearly an hour under the bluff 
and along the shore, returning at last almost 



i6o THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

to the men behind him, ‘ think I ought«to ask you 
to keep this a secret even from your husband. / 
don't ! They also think that I ought to offer you 
money for your kindness. I don’t. But if you 
will honour me by keeping this ring in remem- 
brance of it ’ — he took a heavy seal ring from his 
finger — ‘ it’s the only bit of jewelry I have about 
me- — I’ll be very glad. Good-bye ! ’ She felt for 
a moment the firm, soft pressure of his long, thin 
fingers around her own, and then — he was gone. 
The sound of retreating oars grew fainter and 
fainter and was lost. The same reserve of 
delicacy which now appeared to her as a duty 
kept her from going to the window to watch the 
destination of the boat. No, he should go as he 
came, without her supervision or knowledge. 

Nor did she feel lonely afterwards. On the 
contrary, the silence and solitude of the isolated 
domain had a new charm. They kept the memory 
of her e.xperience intact, and enabled her to refill 
it with his presence. She could see his tall figure 
again pausing before her cabin, without the in- 
congruous association of another personality; she 
could hear his voice again, unmingled with one 
more familiar. For the first time, the regular 
absence of her husband seemed an essential good 
fortune instead of an accident of their life. For 
the experience belonged to her, and not to him 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS, BUNKER i6t 

and her toother. He could not understand it ; he 
would have acted differently and spoiled it. She 
should not tell him anything of it, in spite of the 
stranger!s suggestion, which, of course, he had 
only madfe because 
he didn’t know 
Zephas as well as 
she did. For Mrs. 

Bunker was get- 
ting on rapidly ; 
it was her first ad- 
mission of the con- 
jugal knowledge 
that one’s husband 
is inferior to the- 
outside estimate of 
him. The next step 
— the belief that 
he was deceiving 
her as he was them 
— would be com- 
paratively easy. . honour me by keeping this ring ’ 
Nor should she 

show him the ring. The stranger had certainly 
never said anything about that ! Tt was a heavy 
ring, with a helmetcd head carved on its red 
cornelian stone, and what looked like strange 
letters around it. ' It fitted her third finger per- 

M 




1 62 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

fectly ; but his fingers were small, rfnd he had 
taken it from his little finger. She should 
keep it herself. Of course, if it had been money, 
she would have given it to Zephas ; but the 
stranger knew that .she wouldn’t take money. 
How firmly he had said that ‘ I don’t!’ She felt 
the warm blood fly to her fresh young face ^t 
the thought of it. He had understood her. f^pe 
might be living in a poor cabin, doing alRime 
hoti.sework herself, and her husband only a fisher- 
man, but he had treated her like a lady. 

And so the afternoon pa.ssed. The outlying! 
fog began to roll in at the Golden Gate, oblitera- 
ting the headland and stretching a fleecy bar across 
the channel as if shutting out from vulgar eyes the^ 
way that he had gone. Night fell, but Zephas' 
had not yet come. 1 his was uiiusual, for he was 
geiu^rally as rtgiilar as the afternoon ' trades ’ 
whicli blew him there. There was nothing to 
d(;tain him in this weather and at this .season. 
She beg.in to be vaguely uneasy ; then a little 
angry at this m:w development of his incompati- 
bility. Then it occurred to her, foi; the first time 
in her wifehood, to think what she ifiitould do if he 
were lost. 'V'et, in spite of some pain, terror, and 
perplexity at the possibility, her dominant thought 
was that she would be a free woman to order her 
life as she liked. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


It was Sfter ttn before his lateen sail flapped 
in the little cove. was waiting to receive 

hiiti on the shore./ His good-humoured hirsute 
face was slightly apologetic in expression, but 

thaf'w what kept ^ TUKRE’s HF.EN AWrur. TIMES OVER IN 

’J- RISCO ’ 


‘ No,’ he said quickly — ‘there’s been awful 
iimes over in ’Frisco! Everybody just wild, and 
the Vigilance Committee in session. Jo Hender- 
gon’s killed ! Shot by Wynyard Marion in a duel ! 



1 64 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


He’ll be lynched, sure as a gun, if^hey ketch 
him.’ 

‘ But I thought men who fought duels always 
went free.’ 

‘Yes, but this ain’t no common duel ; they say 
the whole thing was planned beforehand by them 
'Southern fire-eaters to get rid o’ Henderson 
because he’s a Northern man and Anti-ijfilavery, 
and that they picked out Colonel Marion to do it 
because he was a dead shot. They got him to 
insult Henderson, so he was bound to challenge 
Marion, and that giv’ Marion the chyce of wep- 
pings. It was a reg’lar put-up job to kill him.’ 

‘And what's all this to do with you?’ she 
asked, with irritation. 

‘ Hold on, won’t you ! and I’ll cell you. , I was 
pickin’ up nets off Sancelito' about noon, when I 
was hailed by one of them V^igilance tugs, and 
they set me to stand off and on the shore and 
watch that Marion didn’t get away, while they 
were scoutin’ inland. Ye see the duel took place 
just over the bluff there — behind ye — ^and they 
allowed that Marion had struck away No^ for 
Mendocino to take ship there. For after over- 
haulin’ his second’s boat, they found out that they 
had come away from Sancelito alone. But they 
sent a tug around by sea to Mendocino to head 
him off there, while they’re closin’ in around him 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


165 


inland. They’re bound to catch him sooner or 
later. But you ain’t listenin’, Mollie ?’ 

She was — in every fibre — but with her head 
turned towards the window, and the invisible 
Golden Gate through which the fugitive had 



.jm. 


escaped. For she saw it all now — that glorious 
vision — her high-bred, handsome guest and Wyn- 
yard Marion were one and the same person. And 
this rough, commonplace man before her — her 
own husb&nd — ^had been basely set to capture him ! 


i66 


THE CpNSPIRAC.V OF MRS. BUNKER 


PART II 

Duking that evening and the next Mrs.. Bunker, 
without betraying her secret, or exciting the least 
suspicion on the part of her husband, manciged to 
extract from him not only a rough description of 
Marion which tallied with her own impressions," 
but a short history of his career. He was a 
famous politician who had held high office in the 
South : he was an accomplished lawyer ; he had 
served in the army ; he was a fiery speaker ; he 
had a singular command of men. He was 
unmarried, but there were queer stories of his 
relations with some of the wives of prominent 
officials, and there was no doubt that be used them 
in some of his political intrigue’s. He, Zephas, 
would bet .something that it was a woman who had 
helped him off! Did she speak ? 

. Yes, she had spoken. It made her sick to 
sit there and hear such stories ! B^use a man 
did not agree with some people in^plitics it was 
perfectly awful to think how they would abuse 
him and take away his character ! Men were so 
awfuDy jealous, too ; if another man happened to 
be superior and fine-looking there wasn’t anything 
bad enough for them to say about him ! Ko! she 



THE CONSPIRACY OP MRS.' BUNKER 167 


wasn’t a aiaveiy sympathiser eithe», and hadn’t 
anything to do with man politics, although she 
was a Southern woman, and the MacEwaus had 
come from Kentucky and owned slaves. Of 
course, he, Zephas, whose ancestors were Cape 


Cod Quakers, and had 
always been^ sailors. 


couldn’t 


understand. 


She did not know what 


he meant by saying 
‘ what a long ':ail our 
cat’s got,’ but if he 
meant to call her a cat, 
and was goi^g to use 
such language to her, 
he had better have 


stayed in San Fran- 
cisco with his Vigilante 
friends. And perhaps 
it . would have been 


ter if he had stayed 


there before he took 



her away from her parents at Martinez. Then 


she wouldn’t have been left on a desert rock 


without any chance of seeing the world, or ever 
m^kiqg any friends or acquaintances ! 

It 'was their first quarrel. Discreetly made 
up by !^rs. Bunker in some alarm at betraying 


)68 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

herself ; honestly forgiven by Zephas «n a rude, 
remorseful consciousness of her limited life. One 
or two nights later, when he returned, it was with 
a mingled air of mystery and satisfaction. ‘ Well, 
Mollie,’ he said cheerfully, ‘ it looks as if your pets 
were not as bad as I thought them.’ 

* My pets!’ repeated Mrs. Bunker, with a 
faint rising of colour. 

‘ Well, I call these Southern Chivs your pets, 
Mollie, because you stuck up for them so the .other 
night. But never mind that now. What do you 
suppose has happened? Jim Rider, you know, 
the .Southern banker and speculator, who’s a 
regular big Injin among the “Chivs,” he sent 
Cap Simmons down to the wharf while I was un- 
loadin’ to come and see him. Well, I went, and 
what do y’u think? He told me lie was gettin’ 
up an American Fishin’ Company, and wanted 
me to take charge of a first-class schooner on 
shares. Said he heard of me afore, and knew 
I was an American and a white man, and just 
the chap ez could knock them EytaUails outer 
the market.’ * 

‘Yes,’ interrupted Mrs. Bunker quickly, but 
emphatically, ‘ the fishing interest ought to be 
American and protected by the State, with 
regular charters and treaties.’ 

‘I say, Mollie,’ said her astonished but 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 169 

admiring husband, ‘ you’ve been readin' the 
papers or listenin’ to stump speakin’, sure.’ 

^Go on,’ returned Mrs. Bunker impatiently. 
‘ and say what happened next.’ 

‘ Well,’ returned Zephas, ‘ I first thought, you 
see, that it had suthin to do with that Marion 
business, particklerly ez folks allowed he was 
hidin’ somewhere yet, and they wanted me to run 
him off. So I thought Rider might as well know 
_that I wasn’t to be bribed, so I ups and tells him 
how I’d been lyin’ off Sancelito the other day 
workin’ for the other side agin him. With that 
he laughs, says he didn’t want any better friends 
than me, but that I must be livin’ in the backwoods 
not to know that Wynyard Marion had escaped, 
and was then at sea on his way to Mexico or 
Central America. Then we agreed to terms, and 
the long and short of it is, Mollie, that I’m to have 
the schooner with a hundred and fifty dollars a 
month, and 10 per cent, shares after a year! 
Looks like biz, eh, Mollie, old girl ? but you don’t 
seem pleased.’ 

She had put aside the arm with which he 
was drawing her to him, and had turned her white 
face away to the window. So he *had gone— this 
stranger — this one friend of her life — she would 
never see him again, and all that would ever come 
of it was this pecuniary benefit to her husband, 



170 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

who haul done nothing. He would not^even offer 
her money, but he had managed to pay his debt 
to her in this way that their vulgar poverty would 
appreciate. And this was the end of her dream ! 

‘You don’t seem to take it in, Mollie,’ con- 
tinued the surprised Zephas. ‘ It means a house 
in ’Frisco and a little cabin for you on the 
schooner when you like.’ 

‘ I don’t want it ! I won’t have it ! I shall stay 
here,’ she burst out with a half-passionate, half-^ 
childish cry, and ran into her bedroom, leaving 
the astonished Zephas helpless in his awkward 
consternation. 

‘ By Gum! I must take her to ’Frisco ri^ht 
off, or she’ll be havin’ the high strikes here alone. 

1 oughtcr knowed it would come to this ! ’ But 
although he consulted ‘Cap’ Simmons the next 
day, who informed him it was all woman’s ways 
when ‘struck,’ and advised him to pay out' all the 
line he could at such delicate moments, she had no 
recurrence of the outbreak. On the contrary, for 
days and weeks following, she seemed calmer, 
older, and more ‘ growed up ; ’ although she re- 
sisted changing her sea-shore dwelling for San 
Francisco she accompanied him on one or two of 
his ‘ deep sea ’ trips down the coast, and seemed 
happier on their Southern limits. She had taken 
to reading the political papers and speeches, and 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 171 

some ched|) American historie% Captain Bunker’s 
crew,, profoundly convinced that thcit* skipp^’s 
wife was a ‘woman’s rights ’ fanatk, with the 
■ baleful qualities of a ‘ sea lawyer ’ superadd^, 
marvelled at his bringing her. 

It was on returning home from one of these 



HE CONSULTED ‘ CAT ’ blMMUN.^ 


trips that they touched briefly at San Francisco, 
where the Secretary of the Fishing Company 
came on board. Mrs. Bunker was startled to 
recognise in him one of the twcf gentlemen who 
had taken Mr. Marion off in the boat, but as he 
did hot appear to recognise her even after an 
awkward introduction by her husband, she would 



172 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

have recovered her equanimity but fot^a singular 
incident. As her husband turned momentarily 
away, the Secretary, with a significant gesture. 



SLIPPED A 1-ETTER INTO HER HAND 


slipped a letter into her hand. She felt the blood 
rush to her face as, with a smile, he moved away 
to follow her husband. She came down to the 


THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 173 

little cabiitand impatiently tore open the envelope, 
which bore no address. A small folded note con- 
tained the following lines ; — 

‘ I never intended to burden you with my con- 
fidence, but the discretion, 'tact, and courage you 
displayed on our first meeting, and what I know 
of your loyalty since, have prompted me to trust 
myself again 10 your kindness, even though you 
are now aware whom you have helped, and the risks 
you ran. My xViends wish to communicate with 
me and to forw’ard to me, from time to time, 
certain papers of importance, which, owing to the 
tyrannical espiou ageof the Government, would be 
discovered and stopped in passing through the 
Express or Post Office. These papers will be 
left at your house, but here I must trust entirely 
to your wit and judgment as to the way in which 
they should be delivered to my agent at the nearest 
Mexican port. To facilitate your action, your 
husband will receive directions to pursue his course 
as far south as Todos Santos, where a boat will be 
ready to take charge of them when he is sighted. 

I know I am asking a great favour, but I have' 
such confidence in you that I db not even ask 
you to commit yourself to a reply to this. If it can 
be done I know that you will do it ; if it cannot, I 
will undefrstand and appreciate the reason why. I 



174 the CONSPfRACy OF MRS. BUNKER 

will only ask you that when you are read^ to receive 
the papers you will fly a small red pennant from 
the little flagstaff among the rocks. Believe me, 
yOur friend and grateful debtor, 

‘ W. M.’ 

Mrs* Bunker cast a hasty glance around her, 
and pressed the letter to her lips. It was a sudden 
consummation pf her vaguest, h^^lf-formed wishes, 
the realisation of her wildest dreams ! To be the 
confidante of the gallant but melancholy hero in his 
lonely exile and persecution was to satisfy all the 
unformulated romantic fancies of her girli$h read- 
ing ; to be later, perhaps, the Flora Mapdohald of 
a middle-aged Prince Charlie did not^ however, 
evoke any ludicrous associations in hfef mind. 
Her feminine fancy exalted the escapeii duellist 
and alleged assassin into a social martyr. His 
actual small political intrigues and ignoble aims of 
office seemed to her little different from those 
aspirations of royally which she had read about — 
as perhaps they were. Indeed, it is to be feared 
that in foolish little Mrs. Bunker Wynyard Marion 
had found the old feminine adoration of pretension 
and privilege which every rascal has taken advan- 
tage of since the flood. 

Howbeit, the next morning after ^he had 
returned and Zephas had sailed away, sh^flew a 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS, BUNKER 175 

red bandafcna handkerchief on tie ’little fla;|staff 
before the house. A few hours Uiter, a 'boat 
appeared mysteriously from around the Point. ^ 
Its only occupant— a common sailor — asked her * 
name, and handed her a sealed package. Mrs. 
bunker's invention had already been at work. 
She had created an aunt in Mexico, for whom she 
had, with some ostentation, made some small 
purchases while in San Francisco. When her 
husband spoke of going as far south as Todos 
Santos, she begged him to deliver the parcel to 
her aunt’s messenger, and even addressed it 
boldly to her. Inside the outer wrapper she 
wrote a note to Marion, which, with a new and 
amazing diffidence, she composed and altered a 
dozen times, at last addressing the following in a 
large, school-girl hand : ‘ Sir, I obey your com- 
matids to the last. Whatever your oppressors or 
enemies may do, you can always rely and trust 
upon She who in deepest sympathy signs herself 
ever, Mollie Rosalie MacEwan.’ The substitution 
of her maiden name in full seemed in her simplicity 
to be a delicate exclusion of her husband from the 
affair, and a certain disguise of herself to alien 
eyes. The superscription, ‘ T5 Mrs. Marion 
MacEwan from Mollie Bunker, to be called for 
by hand 'at Todos Santos,’ also struck her as a 
marvel of ingenuity. The package was safely 



176 THE Cx) NS PIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

and. punctually delivered by Zephas, wRo brought 
back a small packet directed to her, which on 
private examination proved to contain a letter 
addressed to ‘ J. E. Kirby, to be called for,’ with 
the hurried lint; : ‘ A thousand thanks, W. M.’ 
Mrs. Bunker drew a long, quick breath. He 

might have written more ; he might have :but 

the wish remained still unformulated. The next 
day she ran up a signal ; the same boat and 
solitary rower appeared around the Point, and 
took the package. A week later, when her 
husband was ready for sea, she again hoisted her 
signal. It brought a return package for Mexico, 
which she e.nclosed and re-addressed, and gave 
to her husband. The recurrence of this Incident 
apparently struck a bright idea from the simple 
Zephas. 

‘ Look here, Mollie, why don’t you come 
yourself and see your aunt. I can’t go into port 
without a licence, and them port charges cost a 
heap o’ red tape, for they’ve got a Filibuster 
scare on down there just now, but you can go 
ashore in the boat and I’ll get permission from 
the Secretary to stand off and wait for you there 
for twenty-four ’hours.’ Mrs. Bunker flushed and 
paled at the thought. She could see him ! The 
letter would be sufficient excuse, the ^distrust 
suggested - by her husband would give colour to 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


Ml 


her delivei^ng it in person. There was perhaps a 
brief twinge of conscience in taking this advantage 
of Zephas s kindness, but the next moment, with 
that peculiar logic known only to the sex, she 
made the unfortunate man’s suggestion a condo- 
nation of her deceit. Silt hadn’t asked to go ; 
he had offered to take her. He had only him- 
self to thank. 

Meantime the political excitement in which she 
had become a partisan without understanding or. 
even convictioii, presently culminated with the Pre- 
sidential campaign' iind the election of Abraham 
Ivincoln. I'he intrigues of Southern statesmen 
were revealed in open expression, and echoed in 
California by those citizens of Southern birth and 
extraction who had long held place, power, and 
opinion there. There were rumours of secession, 
of California joining the South, or of her founding 
an independent Pacific Phnpire. A note from ‘ J. 
E. Kirby’ informed Mrs. Hunker that she was to 
carefully retain any correspondence that might be 
in her hands until further orders, almost at the 
same time that Zephas as regretfully told her that 
his project^ Southern trip had been suspended. 
Mrs. Bunker was disappointed, and yet, in some 
singular conditions of her feelings, felt relieved 
that her meeting with Marion was postponed. It 
is to be feared that some dim conviction, unworthy 



I7S . t^ECONSPISACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

, ,t » 

& partisan, that in the magnitude of polftical events 
her , own petty personality might be overlooked 
by her hero, tended somewhat to her resignation. 

Meanwhile the seasons had changed. The 
winter rains had set in; the Trade winds had 
shifted to the south-east, and the cottage, although 
strengthened, enlarged, and made more com- 
fortable through the good fortunes of the Bunkers, 
was no longer sheltered by the cliff, but was 
exposed to the full strength of the Pacific gales. 
There were long nights when she could hear the 
rain fall monotonously on the shingles, or startle 
her with a short, sharp reveille on the windows ; 
there were brief days of ilying* clouds and drifting 
sunshine, and intervals of dull grey shadow, when 
the heaving white breakers beyond the gate 
slowly lifted themselves and sank before her like 
wraiths of warning. At such times, in her ac- 
cepted solitude, Mrs. Bunker gave herself up to 
strange moods and singular visions ; the more 
audacious and more striking it seemed to her 
from their very remoteness, and the d^culty she 
was beginning to have in materialising them. 
The actual personality of Wynyard Marion, as she 
knew it in her one interview, had become very 
shadowy and faint in the months that passed, yet 
when the days were heavy she sometimes saw her- 
self standing by his side in some vague tropical 



THB CONSPIRACY OF MRS, .HVNRER \ ftyg 

surroimdihgs, and hailed by the multitude ai the 
faithful wife and consort of the great Leader, Pre- 
sident, Emperor — she knew not what! Exactly 
how this was to be managed, and the manner of 
Zephass effacement from the scene, never 
troubled her childish fancy, and, it is but fair to 
say, her woman’s conscience. In the logic before 
alluded to, it* seemed to her that all ethical 
responsibility for her actions rested with the 
husband who had unduly married her. Nor were 
those visions always roseate. In the wild decla- 
mation of that exciting epoch which filled the 
newspapers, there was talk of short shrift with 
traitors. So there were days when the sudden 
onset of a squall of hail against her window caused 
her to start as if she had heard the sharp fusillade 
of that file of muskets of which she had sometimes 
read in history. 

One day she had a singular fright. She had 
heard the sound of oars falling with a precision 
and regfularity unknown to her. She was startled 
to see the approach of a large eight-oar barge 
rowed by men in uniform, with two, officers 
wrapped fn cloaks in the stern sheets, and before 
them the glitter of musket barrels. The two 
officers appeared to be conversing earnestly, and 
occasionally pointing to the shore and the bluff 
above. I*‘or ah instant she trembled, and then an 

I'di' ■ - '1^^'' 

. ‘ N 2 



i8<? ' THE CONSPIRACY OF- MRS. BUNKER 

ingtltict of I'evolt and resistance followed. She 
hiimedly removed the ring, which she usually 
wore when alone, from her finger, slipped it with 
the packet under the mattress of her bed, and 
prepared with blazing eyes to face the intruders. 
But when the boat was beached, the two officers, 



‘ THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY,’ SHE SAIJ? 


with scarcely a glance towards the cottage, pro- 
ceeded leisurely along the shorei Relieved, yet 
it must be co^nfessed a little piqued at their in- 
difference, she snatched up her hat and sallied 
forth to confront them. 

‘ I suppose you don't know that this is private 
property ? ’ she said sharply. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER i8i 

The gft>up halted and turned towards her. 
The orderly, who was following, turned his face 
aside and smiled. The younger officer demurely 
lifted his cap. The elder, grey, handsome, in a 
general’s uniform, after a moment’s half-astounded, 
half-amused scrutiny of the little figure, gravely 
raised his gauntleted fingers in a military .salute. 

‘ I beg your pardon, madam, but 1 am afraid 
we never es en thought of that. We are making 
a preliminary survey for the Government with a 
possible view of fortifying the bluff. It is very 
doubtful if you will be disturbed in any rights 
you may have, but if you are, the Govern- 
ment will not fail to make it good to you.’ 
He turned carelessly to the aide beside him. 
‘ I suppose the bluff is quite inaccessible from 
here ? ’ 

‘ I don’t know about that, general. They say 
that Marion, after he killed Henderson, e.scaped 
down this way,' said the young man. 

‘ Indeed — what good was that ? How did he 
get away from here ? ’ 

‘ They say that Mrs. P'airfax was hanging 
round in a boat, waiting for him. The story of 
the escape is all out now.’ ' 

They moved away with a slight perfunctory 
bow to Mrs. Bunker, only the younger officer 
noting that the pert, pretty little Western woman 



i 82 THRf COmPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

wasji’t as sharp and snappy to his sup€rior as she 
had at first promised to be. 

She turned back to the cottage astounded, 
angry, and vaguely alarmed. Who was this Mrs. 
Fairfax who had usurped her fame and solitary 
devotion } There was no woman in the boat that 
took him off ; it was equally well known that he 
went in the ship alone. If they had heard that 
.some woman was with him here — why should 
they have supposed it was Mrs. Fairfax? Zephas 
might know something — but he was away. The 
thought haunted her that day and the next. On 
the third came a more startling incident. 

She had been wandering along the edge of 
her domain in a state of restlessness which had 
driven her from the monotony of the house when 
she heard the barking of the big Newfoundland 
dog which Zephas had lately bought for protection 
and company. She logked up and saw the boat 
and its solitary rower at the landing. She ran 
quickly to the house to bring the packet. 'As 
she entered she started back in amazement.. For 
the sitting-room was already in possession of a 
woman who was seated calmly by the table. 

The stranger turned on Mrs. Bupker that 
frankly insolent glance and deliberate examination 
which only one woman can give another. In that 
glance Mrs. Bunker felt fjerself in the presence of 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. RUNKER ' 183 

a superior,*^ even if her own eyes had not told her 
that in beauty, attire and bearing the intruder 
was of a type and condition far beyond her own, 
or even that of any she had known. It was the 
more crushing that there also seemed to be m 
this haughty woman the' same incongruousness 
and sharp contrast to the plain and homely 
surroundings of the cottage that she remembered 
in him. 

‘Yo'aw Mrs. Bunker, I believe,’ she said in 
languid Southern accents. ‘ How de doh ? ’ 

‘ I am Mrs. Hunker,’ said Mrs. Bunker shortly. 

‘ And so this is where Cunnle Marion stopped 
when he waiteci fo’ the boat to take him ofF,’ said 
the stranger, glancing lazily around, and delaying 
v.’ith smiling insolence the e.xplanation she knew 
Mrs. Bunker was expecting. ‘ The Cunnle said 
it was a pooh enough place, but I don’t see it. I 
reckon, however, he vilas too worried to judge 
and glad enough to get off. Yo’ ought to have 
made him talk — he generally don’t want much 
promptiog to talk to women, if they’re pooty.’ 

' He didn’t .seem in a hurry to go,' said Mrs. 
Bunker indignantly. ^ The next moment she saw 
het error, even before the cruel, liandsome smile 
of her unbidden guest revealed it. 

‘I ^ught so,’ she .said, lazily; ‘this is the 
place and here’s where the Cunnle stayed. Only 



t 84 THM CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

yo’ oughtn’t have given him and yo’sllf away to 
the first stranger quite so easy. The .Cunnle 
might have taught yo’ that the two or three hours 
he was with yo’.’ 

‘ What do you want with me ? ’ demanded 
Mrs. Bunker angrily. 

‘I want a letter yo’ have for me from Cunnle 
Marion.’ 

‘ I have nothing for you,’ said Mrs. Bunker. 
‘ I don’t know who you are.’ 

‘You ought to, considering you’ve been acting 
as messenger between the Cunnle and me,’ said 
the lady coolly. 

^ ‘ That’s not true,’ said Mrs. Bunker hotly, to 

combat an inward sinking. 

The lady rose with a lazy, languid grace, 
walked to the door and called still lazily, ‘ O 
Pedro ! ’ 

The solitary rower clambered up the rocks and 
appeared on the cottage threshold. 

‘ Is this the lady who gave you the letters for 
me and to whom you took mine ? ’ 

‘ Si, Schora.' 

‘They were addressed to a Mr. Kirby,’ said 
Mrs. Bunker sullenly. ‘ How was I to know they 
were for Mrs. Kirby ?’ 

‘ Mr. Kirby, Mrs. Kirby and myself are all 
the same. You don’t suppose the Cunnle would 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. PAINE ER 185 

give my r^I name and address ? Did you address 
yo’r picket to his real name or to someone else ? 
Did you let your husband know who they were 
for ?’ 

Oddly, a sickening sense of the meanness of all 
these deceits and subterfuges suddenly came over 
Mrs. Bunker. Without replying she went to her 
bedroom and returned witli Colonel Marion's 
last letter, which she tos.sed into her visitor’s 
lap. 

‘Thank yo , Mrs. Bunker. I’ll be sure to tell 
the Cunnle how careful yo’ were not to give up 
his correspondence to everybody. It’ll please him 
mo’ than to hear yo’ are wearing his ring — which 
everybody knows — before people.’ 

‘ He gave it to me — he — he knew I wouldn’t 
take money,’ said Mrs. Bunker indignantly. 

‘ He didn’t have any to give,’ .said the lady 
slowly, as she removed the envelope from her 
letter and looked up with a dazzling but cruel 
smile. ‘ A So’th’n gentleman don’t fill up his 
pockets when he goes out to fight. He don’t 
tuck his maw’s Bible in his breast-pocket, clap his 
dear auntie’s locket big as a cheese plate over his 
heart, nor let his^ sole leather cSgyar case that 
his gyri gave him lie round him in spots when 
he goes out to take another gentleman’s fire. He 
leaves that to Yanks ! ’ 



i86 CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

y ’*■ '' ' ■ 

• Did you come here to insult my^iusband?’ 
said Mrsj. Bunker in the rage of desperation. 

‘To insult yo’ husband ! Well — I came here 
to get a letter that his wife received from his 
political and natural enemy and — perhaps I didV 
With a side glance at Mrs. Bunker’s crimson 
gheek she added carelessly, ‘ I have noththg 
against Captain Bunker, he’s a straightforward 
man and must go with his kind. He helped those 
hounds of Vigilantes because he believes in them. 
We couldn’t bribe him if we wanted to. And we 
don’t.’ 

If she only knew something of this woman’s 
relations to Marion— which she only instinctively 
suspected — and could retaliate upon her, Mrs. 
Bunker felt she would have given up her life at 
that moment. 

‘ Colonel Marion seems to find plenty that he 
can bribe,’ she said roughly, ‘ and I’ve yet to know 
'who you are to sit in judgment on them. You’ve 
got your letter, take it and go ! When he wants 
to send you another through me, somebody else 
must come for it, not you. That’s all ! ’ 

She drew back as if to let the intruder pass, 
but the lady, v^ithout moving^ a muscle, finished 
the reading of her letter, then stood up quietly 
and began carefully to draw her handsome cloak 
over her shoulders. ‘ Yo’ want to know who I 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 187 

am, Mrs. feunker,’ she said, arranging the velvet 
collar under her white oval chin. • Well, I'm a 
So’A’n woman from Figinya, and I’m Figinyan 
first, last, and all the time.’ She shook 'out her" 
sleeves and the folds of her cloak. ‘ I believe in State 
rights and slavery — if you' know what that means. 
I hate the North, I hate the East, I hate the West. 

I hate this nigger Government, I’d kill that man 
Lincoln quicker than lightning ! ’ She began to 
draw down the fingers of her gloves, holding her 
shapely hands upright before her. ‘ I’m hard and 
fast to the Cause. I gave up house and niggers 
for it.’ She began to .button her gloves at the 
wrist with some difficulty, tightly setting together 
her beautiful lips as she did so. ‘ I gave up my 
husband for it, and I went to the man who loved 
it better and had risked more for it than ever he 
had. Cunnle Marion’s my friend. I’m Mrs. 
Fairfax, Josephine Hardee that was ; kis disciple 
and follower. Well, maybe those puritanical 
No’th’n folks might give it another name ! ’ 

She moved slowly towards the door, but on 
the threshold paused, as Colonel Marion had, and 
came back to Mrs. Bunker with an outstretched 
hand. ‘ I don’t see that yo’ and !ne need quo’ll. 
I didn’t come here for that. I came here to see 
yo’r husband, and seeing yo' I thought it was 
only right to talk squarely to yo’, as W under- 



i88 THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

Stand I wmldfit talk to yo’r husband. Mrs. 
Bunker, I want yo’r husband to take me away — 
I want him to take me to the Cunnle. If I tried 
to go in any other way I’d 'be watched, spied upon 
and followed, and only lead those hounds on his 
track. I don’t expect yo’ to ask yo’ husband for 
‘ me,, but only not to interfere when I do.’ W' 

There was a touch of unexpected weakne^fin 
her voice and a look of pain in her eyes ^hich 
was not unlike what Mrs. Bunker had s^a and 
pitied in Marion. But they were the eyas of a 
woman who had humbled her, and Mr$; Bunker 
would have been unworthy her sex if she’had hot 
felt a cruel enjoyment in it. Yet the dominance 
of the stranger was still so strong that she did not 
dare to refuse the proffered hand. She, however, 
slipped the ring from her finger, and laid it in 
Mrs, Fairfax’s palm. 

‘ You can take that with you,’ she said, with a 
desperate attempt to imitate the other’s previous 
indifference. ‘ I shouldn’t like to deprive you Ind 
}'OMr friend of the opportunity of making use of it 
again. As for my husband, I shall say nothing of 
you to him as long as you say nothing to him of 
me— which I suppose is what you mean.’ 

The insolent look came back to Mrs. Fairfax’s 
face. ‘ I reckon yo’re right,’ she said quietly, 
putting the ring in her pocket as she fixed her 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. B VNKER 1 89 

dark eyes^on Mrs. Bunker, ‘and th^ ring may be 
of use again. Good-bye, Mrs. Bunker.’ 

She waved her hand carelessly, and turning 
away passed out of the house. A moment* later 
the boat and its two occupants pushed from the 
shore, and disappeared r<^und the Point. 

Then Mrs. Bunker looked round the room, 
and down upon her empty huger, and knew that 
it was the end of her dream. It was all over now 
— indeed, with the picture of that proud, insolent 
woman before her she wondered if it had ever 
beg^n. This was the woman she had allowed 
herself to think sAe might be. This was the 
woman he was thinking of when he sat there ; 
this’ was the Mrs. Fairfax the officers had spoken 
of, and who had made her — Mrs. Bunker — the go- 
between for their love-making! All the work 
that she had done for him, the deceit she had 
practised on her husband, was to bring him and 
this woman together I, And they both knew it, 
and had ho doubt laughed at her and her preten- 
sions 1 

It was with a burning cheek that she thought 
how she had intended to go to Marion, and 
imagined herself arriving perhaps to find that 
shameless woman already there. In her vague 
unformulated longings she had never before 
realised the degradation into which her foolish 



190 THE C0NSPIR4CY OF MRS. BUNKER 

romance fnight’ lead her. * She saw it ^now ; that 
humiliating moral lesson we are all apt to ex- 
perience in the accidental display of our own 
particular vices in the person we hate, she had 
just felt in Mrs. Fairfax’s presence. With it came 
the paralysing fear of her husband’s discovery of 
her; secret. Secure as she had been in her dull 
belief that he had in some way wronged her by 
marrying'her, she for the first time began tp*doubt 
if this condoned the deceit she had practised on 
him. The tribute Mrs. Fairfax had paid him — 
this appreciation of his integrity and honesty by 
an enemy and a woman like herself — troubled 
her, frightened her, and filled her with her first 
jealousy ! What if this woman should tell him 
all ; what if she should make use ot him as Marion 
had of her! Zephas was a strong Northern 
partisan, but was he proof against the guileful 
charms of such a devil ? She had never thought 
before of questioning his fidelity to her ; she sud- 
denly remembered now some rough pleasantries 
of Captain Simmons in regard to the inconstancy 
of his calling. No! there was but one thing for 
her to dp ; she would make a clean breast to him ; 
she would tell hfm everything she had done except 
the fatal fancy that compelled her to it ! She 
began to look for his coming now with alternate 
hope and fear — with unabated impatience ! The 



th;e conspiracy of mrs. bunker 191 

night that should have arrived ^passed ^Ipwly ; 
morning came, But not Zephas. When tlie mist 
had lifted shfe ran impatiently to the rocks and 
gazed anxiously towards the lower bay. There 
were- a. few grey sails scarce distinguishable above 
the greyer water — but they were not his.. She 
glanced half mechanically seawards, and her eyes 
became suddenly fixed. There was no mistake ! 
She knew the rig ! — she could see the' familiar 
white lap-streak as the vessel careened on the 
starboard tack — it was her husband’s schooner 
slowly creeping out of the Golden Gate ! 

PART III 

Her first wild impulse was to run to the cove, for 
the little dingey always moored there, and to 
desperately attempt to ov'ertake him. But the 
swift consciousness of its impossibility was 
followed by a dull, bewildering torpor, that kept 
her motionless, helplessly following the vessel 
with straining eyes, as if they could evoke some 
response from its decks. Sht^ was so lost in this 
occu^tion that she did^pot see that a pilot boat 
nearly abreast of the cove had j[)ut out a two- 
oared gig, which was pulling quickly for the rocks. 
When she saw it, she trembled with the instinct 
that it brought her intelligence. She w-as right ; 



19 J| THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

it was a brief note from her husbancf, informing 
her that he had been hurriedly despatched on a 
short sea cruise ; that in order to catch the tide he 
had not time to go ashore at the bluff, but he 
would explain everything on his return. Her 
relief was only partial ; she was already expe- 
rienced enough in his vocation to know that the 
excuse was a feeble one. He could easily have 
‘ fetched ’ the bluff in tacking out of the Gate and 
have signalled to her to board him in her own 
boat. The next; day she locked up her house, 
rowed round the Point to the Embarcadero, where 
the Bay steamboats occasionally touched and took 
up passengers to San Francisco. Captain Sim- 
mons had not seen her husband this last trip ; 
indeed, did not know that he had gone out of the 
Bay. Mrs. Bunker was seized with a desperate 
idea. She called upon the Secretary ^ the 
Fishing Trust. That gentleman tvas business- 
like, but neither expansive nor communicative. 
Her husband had not been ordered oill to sea by 
them ; she ought to know that Captain Bunker 
was now his own master, choosing his own fishing 
grounds, and his own tiq|es and seasons. He was 
not aware of dny secret service for the Company 
in which Captain Bunker was engaged. He 
hoped Mrs. Bunker would distinctly remember 
that the little matter of the duel to which she re- 



'93 


TffE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. RUNNER 

ferred #as ^il old affair, apd never any- 

thing but a personal maraer, in whl^the Fishery 
had n««poncem whatever, and in whl^U^ certainly 
should, ifot again engage. I le would advise Mrs. 
Bunker, if she valued her own good, and espe- 
cially her husband’s, to s|iV-<‘diIy forget all about 
it. These were ugly limes, .is it was. If Mrs. 
Bunker’s services had not been properly rewarded 
or considerefl it was certainly a great shame, but 
really fu could not be c.\pected to make it good. 
Certain parties had cost him trouble' enough al- 
ready. Besides, really, she must see that his 
position between her husband, whom he respected, 
and certain <»ther party was a delicate one. 
But life. Bunker heard no more. She turned 
and ran ^own the staircase, carry ing with her a 
burning %eek and blazing eye that somewhat 
startled the complacent official. 

She did ftot remember how she got home 
again. She had a vag«e recollection of passing 
throi^h the crowded streets, wondering if the 
people' knew that she was an outcast, deserted by 
her husband, deceived by her ideal hero, repudiated 
by her friends ! Men Jiad gathered in knots 
before tHe newspaper offices, excited and ges- 
ticulating over the bulletin boards that had such 
strange, legends as ‘ ^he Crisis,’ ‘ Details of an 
Alleged Conspiracy to Overthrow the Govem- 

o 



t94 THS eONSPIRACV OF M/!S. BUNKEF 

m€n.t;’ ‘ Thft Assassin of Henderson tS the Fore 
Again,’ ‘ Rumoured Arrests on the Mexican 
Frontier.’ Sometimes she thought she understood 
the drift of them ; even fancied they were the 
outcome of her visit — as if her very presence 
cf\rried treachery and suspicion with it — but 



MKN HAH GATHERIiU IN KNOTS 


generally they only struck her benumbed sense as 
a dull, meanii^less echo of something that had 
happened long ago. When she reached her 
house, late that night, the familiar solitude of 
shore and sea gave her a momentary relief, but 
with it came the terribl<? conviction tfiat she had 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 195 

forfeited hSr right to' it, that when her husband 
came back it would be hers no longer, and that 
with their meeting she would know it no more, 
For through all her childish vacillation and 
imaginings she managed to cling to one steadfast 
resolution. She would till him everything, and 
know the Worst. Perhaps he would never come ; 
perhaps she should not be alive to meet him. 

And so the days and nights slowly passed. 
The solitude which her previous empty deceit had 
enabled her to fill with such charming visions now 
in her awakened remorse seemed only to protract 
her misery. Had she been a more experienced, 
though even a more guilty, woman she would 
have suffered less. Without sympathy or counsel, 
without even the faintest knowledge of the world 
or its, standards of morality to guide her, she 
accepted her isolation and friendlessness as a 
necessary part of her wrongdoing. Her only 
criterion was her enemy — Mrs. Fairfax — and she 
could seek her relief by joining her lover ; but 
Mrs. Bunker knew now that she herself had never 
had one— and was alone ! Mrs. Fairfax had broken 
openly with her husband ; but she had deceived 
hers, and the e^Grience and reckoning were still 
to come. 'In her miserable confession it was not 
strange that this half child, half wOm^n, some- 
times looked towards that grey sea, eternally 



196 TJlM COJVSTf/^ACy OF MRS. BUNKER 

r. ■ ' |''» ‘ 

waiting for her — that sea which had taKen.fyery- 

tltiing W and given her nothing in iieturn 

—t-jlwr ^an."* o^^terating, and perhaps exonerating 

dcftfej* y ..." 

y tpe third day of her waiting isolation , was 


THAT r,REY SEA, ETERNATXV WAITING FOR KER ' | 

broken upon by another intrusion. The ih^j^ing 
had been threatening, with an opaque, mqt|qniess, 
livid arch above, which had tak^ythe plane of the 
usual flying scud and shaded cloud nia^i^ of the 
rainy s^sonl The whole outlying too, 

beyond the bar, appeared nearer, and, feen seemed 


m CONSPIRACY OF MRS. FUNNER igr 


to h^hef ths|n tho Bay itself, mi4 lit 

eveiry, now and then with 
woii|4r4l clearness by long 
dasha^ of breaking foam like 
summer lightning. She knew 
that this meant a south- 
wester, and began, with a 
certain mechanical clelibera 
tion, to set her 
little ' domain in 
order ag-xinst the 
coming gale. She 
drove the cows to 
the rude s'led 
among the 
.scrub oaks, 
she collected 
the goats and 
corral^ and 
stock of fnd 
She ^was 
shftilAery 
making ^^OW 
the 

cove wi^e 
beftmt 
dingey ‘ 
of 






young kids in the 
replenished the 
from the wood-pile, 
quite hidden in the 
when she saw a boat 
headway agamst 

towards the little 

• .. 

but a moment 
had drawn up the 
yond me reach 
it was a 


W f 



198 CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

whale from Sancelito containing *a few men. 
As they neared the landing she recognised in 
the man who seemed to be directing the boat 
the second friend of Colonel Marion — the man 
who had come with the Secretary to take him off, 
but whom she had never seen again. In her 
pnesent horror of that memory she remained 
hidden, determined at all hazards to avoid a 
meeting. When they had landed, one of the men 
halted accidentally before the shrubbery where 
she was concealed as he caught his first view of 
the cottage, which had been invisible from the 
point they had rounded. 

* Look here, Bragg,’ he said, turning to 
Marion’s friend, in a voice which was distinctly 
audible to Mrs. Bunker. ‘ What are we to say to 
these people ? ’ 

‘ There’s only one,’ returned the other. ‘ The 
man’s at sea. His wife’s here. She’s all right.’ 

‘ You said she was one of us ? ’ 

‘ After a fashion. She’s the woihan who 
helped Marion when he was here. I reckon he 
made it .square with her from the beginning, for 
she forwarded letters from him since. But you 
can tell her as much or as little as you find neces- 
sary when you see her.’ ' 

‘ Yes, but we must settle that now,’ siM Bragg 
sharply. * and I propose to tell her I’m 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS, BUNKER m 

4 ( 

against having any more pfttico^ts mixed^p with 
our affairs. I propose to make an examination of 
the place without bothering our heads abodt her.’ 

‘ But we must give some reason for coming 
here, and we must ask her to keep dark, or we’ll 
have her blabbing to the' first person she meets,’ 
urged the other. 

‘ She’s not likely to see anybody before night, 
when the brig will be in and the men and guns 
landed. Move on, and let Jim take soundings off 
the cove while I look along the shore. It’s just 
as well that there's a house here, and a little cover 
like this ’.—pointing to the shrubbery — ‘ to keep 
the men from .naking too much of a show until 
after the earthworks are up. There are sharp 
eyes over at the fort.’ 

‘ There don’t seem to be anyone in the house 
now,’ returned the other after a moment’s scrutiny 
of the cottage, ‘ or the woman would surely come 
out at the barking of the dogs, even if she hadn’t 
seen us. Likely she’s gone to Sancelito.’ 

‘SO;tnuch the better. Just as well that she 
should know nothing until it happens. Afterwards 
we’ll settle with the husband for the price of pos- 
session ; he has only a squatter’s rights. Come 
along ; Veil have bad weather before we get back 
round the Point again, but so much the better, for 
it will keep off any inquisitive longsh^e cruisers.’ 



200 ' CQ^^SPlgACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

moved Away. But Mrs. Buflk^i'l^ng 
^numbed and brooding coj^scl^i^^ess, 
ajid ma^e desperate by this repeated rev^J^lon of 
' weakness, had heard enough td Wjake 
her^^verlsh fo hear more. She knew the i^itrica- 
C3& *bf the shrubbery thoroughly. She knew 
-ev^ly foot of shade and cover of the clearing,’^ and 
creeping like a cat from bush to bush she 
managed, without being discovered, to keefk the 
party in sight and hearing all the time. It 
required no great discernment, even for an 
inexperienced woman like herself, at the end of 
an ‘hour, to gather their real purpose. It was to 
prepare for the secret landing of an armed force, 
disguised as labourers, who, under the outward 
show of quarrying in the bluff, wcie to throw up 
breastworks, and fortify the .craggy shelf. The 
landing was fixed for that night, and was to be 
effected by a ves.sel now cruising outside the 
Heads. 

She understood it all now. She remembered 
Marion’s speech about the importance ot th^ bluff 
for military purposes ; she remembered the 'visit 
of the officers from the fort opposilfe" The 
strangers were stealing a march upon thepoVern- 
ment, and by night would be in possesiSkwb It 
was perhaps an evidence of het newly-a^kened 
and largm: comprehension that she took ho tliought 



7W4 COATSP/MCV OP AfPS, hVPflCSP aoi 

of her lo^ hotfte aM property — perliap there 
was jfe^e |o draw her'to it ribw— but was consdous 
only 4 ^ a more terrible catastrophe — a catastrophe 
to wliicb she was partly accessory, of whiclt any 
other woman would have warned her husband^ — 
or at IdaSt those officers of'the Fort whose business 
it W'as to — Ah, yes ! the officers of the Fort — only 
just opposite to her ! She trembled, and yet 
flushed with an inspiration. It was not too late 
yet-— why not warn them noiu ? 

But h'^'w ? A message sent by S.mcelito and 
the steamboat to San Francisco — the usual way — 
would not reach them to-night. To go herself, 
rowing directly across in the dingey, would be the 
only purity of success. If she could do it ? It 
was a long pull — the sea was getting up — but she 
would try. 

She waited until the last man had stepped into 
the boat, in nervous dread of someone remaining. 
Then, when the boat had vanished round ^he 
Point again, she ran back to the cottage, arrayed 
hcrsfelf in her- husband’s pilot coat, hat and boots, 
and launched the dingey. It was a heavy, slow, 
but luc^% a staunch and seaworthy, boat. It was 
not until was well off shore that she began to 
feel tbe ^1 of the Wind and waves*, and knew 
the danger of her undertaking. She 

bad- hottest and direct 



102 TME COtiSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 


course within a few points of the wind, but 
the quartering of the waves on the broad bluff 
bows of the boat tended to throw it to leeward, a 

•r 

niOyement that, while it retarded her forward 
progress, no doubt saved the little craft from 
swamping. Again, the feebleness and shortness 
of her stroke, which never 
impelled her through a rising 
wave, but rather lifted her 
half-way up its face, pre- 
vented the boat from taking 
much water, while her stead- 
’) fast gaze, fixed only on the 
slowly-retreating shore, kept 
her steering free from any 
fatal nervous vacillation 
which the • s%ht of the 
threatening seas on her bow 
might have produced. Pre- 
served through her very 
weakness, ignorance, and 
simplicity Of purpose, the 
dingey had all the security of a drifting boat, 
yet retained, a certain gentle but, persistent 
guidance. In this feminine fashion she made 
enough headway to carry her abreast of the 
Point, where she met the reflux current sweep- 
ing round it that carried her wel| into the 



ARRAYED ULRSEDF IN HER. 
husband’s PILOl COAT 


THE' CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER aoj 

channel, now sluggish with the turn of the lide. 
After half an hour's pulling, she was delighted 
to find herself again in a reverse current, 
abreast df her cottage, but steadily increasing 
her distance from it. She was. in fact, on the 
extreme outer edge of a vast whirlpool formed by 
the force of the gale on a curving lee shore, and 
was being carried to her destination in a semi- 
circle around that bay which she never could have 
crossed. She was moving now in a line with the 
shore and the Fort, whose (lagstafT, above its 
green, scjuare, and white quarters, she could see 
distinctly, and whose lower water battery and 
landing seemc- 1 to stretch out from the rocks 
scarcely a mile ahead. Protected by the shore 
from the fury of the wind, and even of the sea, her 
progress was also steadily accelerated by the 
velocity of the current, mingling with the ebbing 
tide. A sudden fear seized her. She turned the 
boat’s head towards the shore, but it was swept 
quickly round again ; she redoubled her exertion-s, 
tugging frantically at her helpless oars. She only 
succeeded in getting the boat into the trough of 
the sea, where, after a lurch that threatened to 
capsiz^' it, it providentially swung around on its 
short keel and began to drift stern oq. She was 
almost^reast of the battery now ; sh^^i could hear 
the fi.tfi4^ of a_ bugle that seeme4 blown and 




204 fUE mUSMRACY OF MRS BUNKER 

. j i 

scatter# above her head ; she even she 

could #4*^80016 men in blue uniforms htliving 
along the little pier. She was passing it ; "a,ndther 
fraidess effort to regain her ground, blit sme was 
along steadily towards the Gate, the 
whitening bar and the open sea. j 

^ She knew now what it all meant, 
wh^ she had come for ; this was 
Beyond, only a little beyond, just a few moments 
longer to wait, and then, out there among the 
breakers was the rest that she had longed for 
but had not dared to seek. It was not her fault' 
they Could not blame her. He would come 
and never know what had happened— nor 
know how she had tried to atone for her 
And he would find his house in poss^ss^Q of — 
of— those devils I No' No! she |j^^l**^not die 
yet, at least not until she had wsiS/ned the Fort. 
She seized the oars again with frentied strength ; 
the boat had stopped under the unwonted strain ; 
staggered, tried to rise in an uplifted sea, took 
part of it over her bow, struck down Mrs. Bunker 
under half a ton of blue water that wreft# the 
oars from her paralysed hands Kke pla|'^fhmgs, 
swept them over the gunwale, nnd left^li^ lying 
senseless in the bottom of the boat 



rm cojvsp/nAcy of mfs. nmKER 


2CS 


Riley — look alive — ^is it slapin’ ye 

are! * 

‘ HoM yer jaw, Flanigan, and stand ready 
with tlte boat hook. Now then, hold hai^rd ! ’ . 

The sudden jarring and- tilting of the water- 
logged boat, a sound of rasping timbers, the 
















\ 


% 






%5vi 


/i 


STRUCK DOWN MRS feUNKFR 


swaiming of men in shirt sleeves and blue 
trousers around her, seemed to rouse her momen- 
tarily, buf she s^ain fainted away- 

When she struggled back to consciousness once 
more-s^^as wrapped in a soldier’s jacket, her 
head |^il|Mwed on the shirt-sleeve of sp artillery 
corporal m thtf stem sheets of that 4|;ht-oared 


3 o 6 ms; CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

Government barge she had remembered. Put the 
only officer was a bare-headed, boyish lieutenant, 
and the rowers were an athletic but unseamahlike 
creyr of mingled artillerymen and infantry, 

‘ And where did ye 
drift from, darlint V 
Mrs. Bunker bridled 
feebly at the epithet. 

‘ I didn’t drift. 'I was 
going to the FJrt.’ 

‘ The Fort, is it 
‘Yes. I want to see 
the General.’ 

‘Wad n’t the 
nant do ye } Or snure 
there’s the Adjutant ; 
he’s a foiiie man.’ 

‘Silence, F'lanigan,’ 
said the young officer 
sharply. Then turning 

HER HEAD FIU.OWEI) ON THE* TVyr . 1 

SHIRT SLEEVE OF AN ARTILLERY OUnKer tit SaiU, 

‘Don’t mind /iw,- but 
let his wife take you to the canteen, when we get 
in, and get you some dry clothes.’ 

But Mrs. Bunker, spurred to convalescence at 
the indignity, protested stiffly, and demanded on 
her arrival to be led at once to the General’s 
quarters. A few officers, who had been attracted 




THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 207 

to the, piftr^ by resdie, acceded to her 
demand. * 

Sl^^e<i%nised the grej^haired, handsome 
man viBIhad come ashore at her house. With a 
• touch of indignation at her treatment, she briefly 
told her story. But the 'General listened coldly 
and gravely with his eyes fixed upon fier face. 

‘ You say you recognised in the leader of the 
party a man you had seen before. Under what 
circumstances ? ’ 

Mrs. Bunker hesitated with burning cheeks. 

‘ He came to take Colonel Marion from our 
place.’ 

‘ Whed you were hiding him — yes, we’ve 
heard the l^y. Now, Mrs. Bunker, may I ask 
you what as a Southern sympathiser, expect 
10 gain, by telling me this story ? ’ 

But here Mrs. Bunker burst out. ‘I am not 
a Southern sympathiser ! Never ! Never ! 
Never ! I’m a Union woman — wife of a Northern 
man. I helped that man before I knew who he 
was. Any Christian, Northerner or Southerner, 
would have done the same ! ’ 

Her sincerity and passion were equally un- 
mistakable. The General rose, opbned the door 
of thq adjoining room, said a few words to an 
orderfy cm duty add returned. ‘ What you are 
asking of mte, Mrs. Bunker, is almost as extra- 



208 


THE CONSFMACr OF MRS. BUNKER 


vagan.t an4 .unprecedented as your You 

must: tjodersliaind, as well as your husl^nd, tHat if 
I land a force on your property it will be VS take 

' possession of it in 
, the name of the 


Mm. 



HER SINCFEHY AND PAbSlON WERE 
iSJdjtJAtLY UNMISTAKABIB 


the name of the 
Government, for 
Government pur- 
poses.’ 

‘ Yes, yes,’ said 

Mrs. Bunker 

) 

eagerly ; . ; I know 
that. I am willing ; 
Zephas will be 
willing.’ 

‘ And/ , con- 
tinued the' General, 
hxing his eyes on 
her face, ‘you will 
also understand 
that I may be com- 
pelled to detain you 
here as-k h<»tage 
for the safety of my 


‘ Ob no 1 no ! please ! ’ said Mrs. Bunker, spring- 
ing up with an imploring feminine gesture i.* I am 
expecting my husband. He may bd,'* homing 
back at any moment : I must be th^ see hin^ 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER ?og 

first ! Jet g<i tsaejc, sir, ^th y^r men ; 

put any where ashore between tl^jm jftnd [Jthose 
men are^coming[. Lock me up ; keep^e a 
prisoner in my own home ; do anything else if you 
think I am deceiving you ; but don’t keep me here 
to miss h.im when he comfes! ’ 

‘ But you can see him later,’ said the General. 

* But I must see him first' said Mrs. Bunker 
desp^ately. ^ ‘ I must see him first, for — for — he- 
kn<yut^ nothing of this. He knows nothing of^my 
helping Colonel Marion ; he knows nothing of — 
how foolish I have been, and — he must not know 
it from o|hers! There!’ It was out at last. 
She was sobbing now, but her pride was gone. 
She felt relieved, and did not even notice the 
presence of two or three other officers, who had 
entered the room, exchanged a few hurried 
words with their superior,’ and were gazing at her 
in astonishment. 

The General’s brow relaxed, and he smiled. 

‘ Very ^elk Mrs. Bunker ; it shall be as you like, 
then. ilTou shall go anckmeet your husband with 
Captain .Jennings here’ — indicating one of the 
officers— *' who will take charge. of you and the 
.party.’ 

‘ And/ said Mrs. Bunk^, looking imploringly 
througlS lb[Ut pretty lashes at the officer, ‘ he 

won’t say anything to Zephas, either > ' | 



210 ftfE CO PIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 

"" |U 

‘ Not ^ syllame,’ said Captain Jennings gravely. 
.* But the tug is getting ready, General, hadn’t 
Mis. Buiiker better go to Mrs. Flanigan?' 

.‘I ttlinic not,’ said the General, with a 
sigftificant look at the officer as he gallantly 
offered- his arm to ^||ie astonished Mrs. Bunker. 

‘ If she will allow me the plea- 
sure of taking her to my wife.’ 

There was an equally marked 
respect in the manner of the 
men and officers as Mrs. Bunker 
finally stepped on board the 
steam tug that was to convey 
the party across the turbulent 
bay. But she heeded it not, 
neither did she take any con- 
cern of the still furious gale, the 
difficult landing, the preterna- 
tural activity of the band of 
sappers, who seemed to work 
magic with their picks and 
shovels, the shelter tents that 
arose swiftly around her, the sheds and bush 
enclosures that were evoked from the very ground 
beneath her feet ; the wonderful skill, wder, and 
discipline that in a few hours converted her 
straggling dominion into a formal camp, even to 
the sentinel, who was alr^dy calndy pacing the 



IHE CKNERAI'S BROW 


RELAXED 



THE CONSPIRACY 6 ^ kRS. BUNKER 21 i 

rocks b)?; the Is^ndihg as if he had been doing it for 
years ! Only one thing thrilled her-r-the ^dden 
outburet, fluttering and snapping of the National 
flag from her little flagstaff. He would see it — 
and perhaps be pleased ! 

And indeed it seemed as if the men had caught 
the infection of her anxiety, for when her strained 
eyes could no longer pierce the niurky twilight 
settling over the Gate, one came running to her 
to say that the look out had just discovered 
through h's glass a close-reefed schooner running 
in before the v'ind. It was her husband, and 
scarcely an hour after night had shut in the 
schooner had rounded to off the Point, dropped 
her boat and sped away to anchorage. And then 
Mrs. Bunker, running bareheaded down the rocks, 
breaking in upon the hurried explanation of the 
officer of the guard, threw herself upon her hus- 
band’s breast and sobbed and laughed as if her 
heart would break ! 

Nor did she scarcely hear his hurried comment 
to the officer and unconscious corroboration of her 
story : hpw a brig had raced them from the Gate, 
was heading for the bar, but suddenly sheered off 
and put a^ay to sea again, as if from some signal 
from the headland. ‘Yes — the bluff,’ interrupted 
Captain Jennings bitterly, ‘ I thought ol that, but 
the old man said it was more diplomatic just now 



212 rft& coMPimcY OF mrs bunker 

prev^jk an attemot than even to suc<iessfullv 

resist it.^ 1 

But they were alone again in theif little 
cOtt^e, ind Zephas’s honest eyes — with no trace 
of knowledge or suspicion in their homely, 

neutral lightness — were 
looking into hers with 
hjs usual simple trust- 
fulness, Mrs. Bunker 
trembled, whimpfsred, 
and — I grieve to say^ 
basely funked^|i‘lier 
boasted confessic^^ But 
here the Deii^Vhich 
protects femt^^fe weak- 
ness intermijA with the 
usual n!lt«ie. As he 
gazed at his v^Ujjife trou- 
bled face, an apologetic 
cloud came over his 
rugged bpt open browv 
and a smile of awk- 
ward deprecating em- 
barrassment suffused his eyes. ‘ I declare to good- 
ness, Mollie, but I must tell you suthin, irfthough 
I guess I didn’t kalkilate to say a word about it. 
But, darn it all, I can’t keep it in. I^o | Lookin’ 
inter that innercent face o' yourn ’^^ressing her 




THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. R-UNNER . 213 

flushu^TffcheeTcs befcMreen bis cool brown, hands 
— gazing inter them two truthfi,!! ^s’ — 
theyb^ked It this moment with a divine mbdesty 
— ‘ and tainkin’ of. what you’ve just did for** your 
kentry — like them revolutionary women o’ ’yd — 
I feel like a darned swab of a traitor myself 
Well! what I want ter tell you is this : Ye know, 


or ye’ve heard me 
tell o’ that Mrs. 
Fairfax, as left her 
husband for that 
firei-eatin’ Marion, 
and studk to him 
through thick and 
thin,*^ and stood 
watch and watch 
with him in this 
howlin’ Southern 



rumpus 


they’re 


< GATING INlh.R IHKM TWO '1 RUTHFUI 


kickin’ up all along 

the coast, as if she was a man herself Well, jes 
as I haided up at the wharf at ’Frisco, she comes 


■aboard; 

‘ “ Cnp Bunker? ” she says. 

“‘*ti^tVmd, ma’am,” I says. 

‘ “ a Horthem man and you with your 

kind,” 'she : f hut you’re a white' man, and 
thar’s no <i% blpOd in y<^li.” But you a|h’t listenin’. 


3J4 ’ TkE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER 
* 0 
MplUe-|you’re dead tired, lass’ — with a com- 
miseratittg look §t her now whitening face-*-' and 
I’ll haul in line and wait. Weft, to cut it short, 
she wanted me to take her down the coast a bit 
to where she could join Marion. She said she’d 
been shook bj? his friends, followed by spies^and, 
blame my skin, Mollie, ef that proud woman 
didn’t break down and cry like a baby. Now, 
Mollie, what got me in all this, was that them 
Chivalry folks — ez was always jawin’ about their 
“ Southern dames” and their “ Ladye fairs,” and 
always runnin’ that kind of bilge water outer their 
scuppers whenever they careened over on a fair 
wind — was jess the kind to throw off on a woman 
when they didn’t want her, and I kinder thought 
I’d like her to .see the difference betwixt the 
latitude o’ Charleston and Cap Cod. So I told 
her I didn’t want the jewelfy^atid dimons she 
offered me, but if she would come down to the 
wharf, after dark. I’d smuggle .her aboard, and I’d 
allow to the men that she was your auntie ez I 
was givin' a free passage to ! Lord ! dear! think 
o’ me takin’ the name o’ Mollie Bunker’s aunt in 
vain for that sort o’ woman ! Think o’ me,’ con- 
tinued Captain Bunker with a tentative chuckle, 

‘ sort o’ pretendin’ to hand yo’r auntie to Kernel 
Marion for — for his lady love ! I dotl||^ wonder 
ye’s half frighted and half laffin’,’ he add^, as his 



THE CONSPIRACY OF MRS. BUNKER .215 

ut^red a hysterical cry ; ‘ it awful ! But 
it worhe^, "I got her off, and wot's more I got 
her shipped to Mazatlan, where she’ll join |l|arion, 
and the two are goin’ back to Virginy, where I 
guess they won’t trouble Californy again. Ye 
know, now, deary,’ he wei\t on, speaking with dif- 
ficulty through Mrs. Bunker’s clinging arms and 
fast dripping tears, ‘why 1 d’dn’t heave to to say 
“good-bye." But it’s all over now — I’ve made a 
clean breast of it, Mollie — and don’t you cry!’ 

But i*^ was noi all over. For a moment later 
Captain Bunke- began to fumble in his waistcoat 
pocket with the one hand that was: not clasping 
his wife’s waist ‘ One thing more, Mollie ; wheji 
I left her tind refused to take any of her dimons, 
she put a queer sort 0 ’ ring into my hand, and 
told nje with a kind o’ mischievious, bedevilin’ 
smile, that I must keep it to remember her by. 
Here it is — why, Mollie lass ! are you crazy ? ’ 

She had snatched it from his fingers and was 
running swiftly from the cottage out into the 
tempestuous night. He followed closely, until 
she reached the edge of the rocks. And only 
then, io^ struggling, fast-flying jmoonlight, she 
raised a psassion!a.te hand, and threw it far into the 
sea ! /' \ 

As^led her back to the cottage ^e said she 
was jeaWis, attd honest Captain Bunl<|3', with his 



3i6 TME COA[SP/E4Cy OF MES. FUNK EH 
arm her, felt himself the happldst^ll^n 

th^'Wf!’^ 


Froijtiftet day the flag flew regukdy ol^r the 
roct^ fi^li", atid, in time, bugles and morning <^rum- 
bea^s 4ei*e wafted from it to the decks of p^i4i|ing 






/IIF II \C. \lh\\ KK.UIAUIY OVI5H Tf|E 

ships. For the Federal Government had adjudged 
the land for its own use, paid Captain, Bpnker a 
handsome sum for its possession, and had dis- 
creeUy hidden the. little cottage ,pf >Ira, Swnker 
and its history for ever behind b'as*io« apd case- 


THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCK&YB 
CAMP 

PART I 

TtiE tiny lights that had been far scattered and 
intertnittent as fire-flies all along the dark stream, 
at last dropped out one by one, leaving only the 
th^ windows of ‘ Park’s Emporium ’ to piefce 
thn p^ofdihndly wooded banks of the South Fork. 
So ali-peirvading was the darkness that the n»ere 
opei^ng m the ‘ Emporium ’ front door shot out 
an illuminating shaft which revealed the whole 
length ,<>f the little rnain street of ‘ Buckeye,’ while 
the simply passing of a single figure before one of 
the windows momentarily eclipsed a third of the 
settlmnei^t. This undue pre-eminence given to 
the only Uiree citizens of Buckeye who were still 
up at tm o’clock seemed to be hardly justified by 
their ot^lw^d aj^jearance, which was that of 
ordinai^^ll^-bearded and long-bqpt^ river bar 
mineral sat upon the counter, with their 
hands knoes, the third levied beside 

the bp^wii^ow.,^ , 




2i8 the transformation of buckeye camp 


a 4o^, or an occasional subdued murmur from the 
river Allows, audible only when the wind rose 
diightly, helped to intensify their solitude^ So 
supreme bad it become that when the man at the 
window at last continued his conversation medi- 
tatively, with his face towards it, he seemed to be 
taking all Nature into his confidence. 

‘ The worst thing about it is, that the Only way 
we can keep her out of the settlement is by the 
same illegal methods which we deplore in other 
camps. We have always boasted that Buckeye 
could get along without Vigilance Committees 
or Regulators.’ 

‘Yes, and that was because we started it on 
the principle of original selection, which we^ure 
only proposing to continue,’ replied one ^ the 
men on the counter. ‘ So there’s nothii^twrong 
about our sending a deputation to ws^^^^on her, 
to protest against her settling her^i^'arid give her 
our reasons.’ 

‘ Yes, only it has all ^ the impudence without 
the pluck of the Regulators. You demand what 
you are afraid to enforce. Come, Parks, you 
know she has q,ll the rights ort her side. Look at 
it squarely. She proposes to open a store and 
sell liquor and cigars, which she serv^ hersplf, 
in the broken-down Tienda which waS regularly 
given to her people by the Spanish grantee of the 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKHYE CAMP 219 

land weVe squatting on. It’s "not her fa^It but 
ours if we’vfe adopted a line of rul^, which doi^t 
agree with fiers, to .govern the settlers on her 
land, nor should she be compelled to follow theft. 
Nor because we justify our squatting here, on the 
ground that the Spanish grant isn’t confirmed yet, 
can we forbid her squatting under the same right.’ 

‘ But look at the mo-al question, Brace, 
Consider the example ; the influeoce of such a 
shopi kept by such a woman, on the community ! 
We hav'", the right to protect , ourselves — the 
majority.’ 

‘ That’s the way the lynchers talk,’ returned 
Brace. ‘And I’m not so sure about there being 
any moral question yet. You are assuming too 
much. There is no reason why she shouldn’t run 
the Tienda as decently — barring the liquor sale, 
which, however, is legal, and for which she can 
get a licence — ^as a man could, and without inter- 
fering with our morals.’ 

‘ Then what is the use of our rules } ' 

‘ They were made for those who consented to 
adopt them, as we all did. • They still bind its, and 
if we don’t choose to buy her liquor or cigars 
that will dispose of her and her Tienda much 
mofe effectually than your protest. >It’s a pity 
she’s a lone unprotected woman. Now jf she only 
had a husband — ~ 



220 THE TEA'nSFQRM^T ION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

k 

a <3agger in-her ga^rter.’ 

irrelevant remar|;^ c$mt from 
who had not yet spoken, but who" haid 
been listening with the languid unconcern d[ one 
Vhd, 'rehji|p4ish5ng the labour of argUm^t to 
otl^re, had* consented to abide by their decision. 
It wa^ met with a scornful smile from each of the 
disputants, perhaps even by an added shrug of 
the shoulders from the woman’s previous defender ! 
//e was evidently not to be taken in by extraneous 
sentiment. Nevertheless both listened as the 
speaker, slowly feeling his knees as if they were 
his way to a difficult subject, continued with the 
same suggestion of stating general fact, but 
waiving any argument himself. " Glarkson, of 
Angel’s, allows she’s got a fie^ gs^^y, picter- 
covered style with the boys, but that she can be 
gilt-edged when she wants to. RbWjfey l^leade — 
him ez hed his skelp pulled over his ears at one 
stroke, foolin’ with a she bear over on Black Moun- 
tain — allows it would be rather monotone^ in him 
attemptin’ any familiarities with her. '^^tllstrode’s 
brother, ez was in Marysville, said there waS a 
woman — like fo her, but nbt her— rnffide it 
lively for the boys with a game callett “ Little 
Monte," and he dropped a hundred dt^lfuis t^re 
afore he came away. They say tfe^arout 
seven men got shot in MarysVflle s&count o’ 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 211 

” <1* ' ' 

this w from scMne one|ksiiies3 that hs^^ned 
at her Shop-^ J&ut then,’ he went 4>n and 

deferesgtially 'as the faces of the two btheif were 
lowesep and became fixed, ‘ she says she tired o’ 
drunken rowdies— there’s a sameness, about ’em. 



*fiHE CAN BE OiLT.El>«t:n WHEN SUE WANTS TO ’ 


and it don’t sell her pipes and cigars, and that’s 
why she’sS'^cOming here. Thompson, over at Dry 
Creek, ’ Sje^ that that's where our reputation is 
playin’ lisl “We’ve got her as a reward o' virtoo, 
and be d— d to us.’’ But,’ cautiously^ ‘ Thomp- 



722 THE TMANUFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

son Zin'% 4rawed a sober breath since Christ- 

ma^/ 

The thfee men looked in each other’s faces in 
silence, The ^ame thought occurred to each ; the 
profah^ Thompson was right, and the woman’s 
advent was the logical sequence of their own 
ethi^Si Twp years previously, the Buckeye 
Company had found gold on the South pork, 
and had taken up claims. Composed mainly of 
careful, provident, and thoughtful men — ^some of 
cultivation and refinement — they had adopted a 
certain orderly discipline for their own guidance 
solely, which, however, commended itself to later 
settlers, already weary of the lawlessness 
reckless freedom which usually attended theA,- 
ception of mining settlements. Consequenta pm e 
birth of Buckeye was accompanied wL® no 
dangerous travail ; its infancy was free f ^ p the 
diseases of adolescent communities. Th^pttlers, 
without any express prohibition, h^5 tacitly 
dispensed with gambling and drinkii^ saloons ; 
following the unwritten law q| had laid 

aside their revolvers, and mi|ji^led together peace- 
fully when thqir laboc|s were ended, without a 
single peremptory regulation against drinking and 
playing, or carrying lethal weapons. Nor had 
there been any test of fitness or qualification for 
citizenship through previous virtue. There were 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF RUCK EYE CAMP 223 

|)ne or two* gamblers* a skilful duellist, and men 
jivho still drank whisky who had voluntarily 
k)ught the camp. Of some such antecedent!} was 
ithe last speaker. Probably with two wives else- 
where, and a possible homicidal record, he had 
modestly held aloof from obtrusive argument. 

‘ Well) we must have a meeting and put the 
question squarely to the bovs to-morrow,’ said 
Parks, gazing thoughtfully from the window. 
The remark was followed by another long silence. 
Beyond, in the darkness. Buckeye, unconscious 
of the momentous question awaiting its decision, 
slept on peacefully. 

‘ I brought the keg of whisky and brandy 
from ,Red ‘Gulch to-day that Doctor Duchesne 
spoke of,’ he resumed presently. ‘ You know he 
said we ought to have some in common stock 
that he could always rely upon in emergencies, 
and for use after the tule fever. I didn’t agree 
with him, and told him how I had brought Sam 
Denver through an attack with quinine an,d 
arrowroot, but he laughed and wanted to know if 
we’d “resolved” that everybody should hereafter 

have the Denver constitution. That’s the trouble 

1 

with those old army surgeons — they never can get 
over the “heroics*’ of their past. Why he told 
Parson ‘Jennings that he’d rather treat a man for 
jim-jams than, one that was dying for want of 



224 THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

Stimulants. However, the liquor is” here, and 
.one of the diings we must settle to-morrow is the 
question if it oi^ht not to be issued only on 
EHichesn^’s prescription. When I made that 
point"^ him squarely, he grinned again, and 
wanted to know if I calculated to put the same 
restriction on the sale of patent medicintss and 
drugs generally.’ 

•’N powder ’n shot,’ contributed the indifferent 
man. 

‘ Perhaps you’d better take a look at the liquor, 
Saunders,’ said Parks, dismissing the ethical 
question. ‘ You know more about it th||j we do- 
lt ought to be the best.’ 

Saunders went behind the counter, drew out 
two demijohns, and, possibly from the force of 
habit, selected three mugs from the crockery and 
I>oured some whisky into each, before he could 
check himself. , 

‘ Perhaj>s we had better compare tastes,’ said 
Brace blandly. They iill sipped their liquor 
slowly and in silence. The decis^q^^^as favour- 
able. ‘ Better try some with watife to see how it 
mi.xes,' said Saunders, lazily ^ing the glasses 
with a practised hand. This required more de- 
liberatilOT, and they drew their chairs to the table 
and sat down. A slight relaxation Wt^e over the 
thoughtful faces of Brace and Parks, a gentle 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 225. 

perspiration* came over the later’s brow, but the 
features and expression of Saunders never chajijged. 
The conversation took a broader range ; politics 
and philosophy entered into it ; literature ahd 
podft'y were discussed by Parks and Brace, 
Saunders still retaining the air of a dispassionate 
observer, ready to be convinced, but abstaining 
from argument — and occasionally replenishing 
the glasses. There was felt to be no incon- 
sistency between their present attitude and their 
previous.* conversation ; rather it proved to them 
that gentlemen could occasionally indulge in a 
social glass together without frequenting a liquor 
saloon. This was stated with .some degree of 
effusion by Parks and assented to with singular 
enthusiasm by Brace; Saunders nodding. It was 
also observed with great penetration by Brace, 
thai in having really specially-selected liquor 
like that, the great danger of the intoshikat’n ’fx 
— he corrected himself with great deliberation, 

‘ the' intoxicating effects ’ — of atluherated liquors 
sold in drinking saloons was' obviated. Mr. 
Brace thought also that the vitiated quality of the 
close air of a crowded saloon had a^reat deal to 
do with itr-the excess of carbon — hie — ^he begged 
their pardon — carbonic acid gas undoubtedly 
rendered people ' slupid and steepy.’ ' But here, 
from the open window,’ he walked dreamily to it 



2j6 the transformation of buckeye camp 

and leaned out admiringly towards the dark land- 
scape that softly slumbered without, ‘ one could 
drink in only health and poetry.’ 

‘ Wot’s that ? ’ said Saunders, looking up. 

‘ I $aid health and poetry,’ returned Brace 
with some dignity. ‘ I repeat ’ 

‘ No. I mean wot’s that noise ? Listen.’ 

They listened so breathlessly that the soft 
murmur of the river seemed to flow in upon them. 
But above it quite di.stinclly came the regular 
muffled beat of horse-hoofs in the thick dust and 
the occasional rattle of wheels over rocky irregu- 
larities. But still very far and faint, and fading 
like the noises in a dream. Brace drew a long 
breath ; Parks smiled and softly closed his eyes. 
But Saunders remained listening. 

‘ That was over our road, near the turnpike ! ' 
he said musingly. ‘ That’s queer ; thar ain’t any 
of the boys away to-night, and that’s a waggon. 
It’s someone cornin’ here. Hark to that! There 
it is tigain.’ 

It was the same sound but more distinct and 
nearer, and then was lost i^ain. 

‘ They’rq, dragging through the river sand 
that’s just abreast o’ Mallory’s. Stopped there, I 
reckon. No ! pushin’ on again. Hear em’ grind- 
ing along the gravel over Hamilton’s trailin’s.-* 
Stopped agin — that’s before Somerville’s shanty. 



THE TRANSFOEMATTON OF ni^CHFYF CAMP 227 

What’s gone o’ them now ? • Maybe they’ve lost 
the trail and got onto Gray’s slide through the 
woods. It’s no use lookin’ ; ye couldn’t see any- 
thing in this nigger dark. Hoi' on ! If they’re 
cornin’ through the woods, ye’ll hear ’em again 
jest off here. Yes! by thundei ! here they are !’ 

This time the clatter and horse-hoofs were 
before them, at the \'ery door. A man’s voice 
cried ‘ whoa ! ’ and there was a sudden bound on 
the verandah. I'he door opened ; for an instant 
the entrance appeared to be filled with a mass of 
dazzling white llounces, and a figure which from 
waist to crown was impenetrably wrapped and 
swathed in black lace. Somewhere beneath its 
folds, a soft, Spani.sh, yet .somewhat childish voice 
crie.d ‘ Tcntc. Hoi’ on,’ turned and vanished. This 
was succeeded by the apparition of a silent, 
swarthy Mexican, who dropped a small trunk at 
their feet and vanished also. Then the white- 
flounced and black -laced figure reappeared as the 
departing waggon rattled away, glided to the 
centre of the room, placed on the trunk a small 
foot, whose low-quartered black satin slipper 
seemed to be held only by the toe, . threw back 
with both hands the black lace mantilla, which was 
pinned by a red rose over her little right ear, 
and with her hands slightly extended and waving 
softly said, 'Mira cabal Zeros ! ’Ere we are 



228 THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 



* ** MIRA CABAM.KROS i ’eRR WE ARE AC^AIN, SOYS ! ’ 


again, boys I Viva ! Aow ees your mother ? A 
ees that for high ? Behold me ! just from Pik 




THE TRANSFORMATldN OF RUCK EYE CAMP 229 

Parks and Brace, who had partly risen, fell 
back ho;pelessly in their ’chairs again and gazed at 
the figure with . a feeble smile of vacuous pain and 
politeness- At which it advanced, lowered its 
black eyes mischievously, over the table and the 
men who sat there, poured out a glass bf the 
liquor, said : ‘ I look towards you, boys ! Don’t 
errise. You are just a lee'le weary, • eh ? A 
leetle. O yes! a leetle tired of crookin’ your 
elbow — eh ? Don’t care if the school keep I — 
eh ? Don’* want any pie I Want to go ’ome, eh ? ’ 

But here Mr Parks rose with slight difficulty, 
but unflinching dignity, and leaned impressively 
ever the table, ‘ May I ashk — may I be permitted 
to arsk, madam, to what we may owe the pleasure 
of thish — of this — yisit ? ’ 

Her face and attitude instantly changed. Her 
arms dropped and caught up the mantilla with a 
quick but not ungraceful sweep, and in ap[)arently 
a single movement she was draptrd, wrapped, and 
muffled from waist to crown as before. With a 
slight inclination of her head, she .said in quite 
another voice: 'Si, SeHor. I have arrive here 
because in your whole great town of^ Booki there 
is not so much as one ’ — she held up a sntall brown 
finger—' as much as one leetle light or fire like 
thees ; be-cause in this grand ptteblo there is not one 
peoples who have not already sleep in his bed but 



230 THE' TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

thees ! Bueno ! I have arrive all the same like 
a leetle bird, like the small fly arrive to the light ! 
not to you — only to the light ! I go not to my 
casa for she is dark, and to-night she have nothing 
to make the fire or bed. I go not to the ’otel — 
there Is not one ' — the brown finger again uplifted 
’otel in Booki ! I make the 'otel— the Fonda 
— in my hoose manana — to-morrow ! To-night I 
and Sanchicha make the bed for us ’ere. San- 
chicha, she stands herself now over in the street. 
We have mooch sorrow we have to make the 
Caballeros mooch tr-rouble to make disposition of 
his house. But what will you ? ’ 

There was another awkward silence, and then 
Saunders, who had been examining the intruder 
with languid criticism, removed his i)ipe from his 
mouth and said quietly: — 

‘That’s the w'oman you’re looking for — Jovita 
Mendez ! ’ 

PART II 

The rest of that interview has not been. re- 
corded. Suffice it that a few minutes later Parks, 
Brace, and , Saunders left the Emporium, and 
passed the night in the latter’s cabin, leaving the 
Emporium in possession of Miss Mendez and het 
peon servant ; that at the earliest dawn the two 
women and their baggage were transferred to the 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF RUCKF.VE CAMP 131 



MISS MEN'UEZ 


old adobe house, where, however, a Mexican 
workman had already arrived, and with a basket- 


2^2 THE'^ TRAMSFORMAr/ON OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

full of i?e4 tiles was making it habitafil^ Buck- 
eye, whieh was popularly supposed to sleep with 
one eye.< cm the river, and always first repaired 
there in the morning to wash and work, was only 
awdkc to the knowledge of the invasion at’ noon. 
The meeting so confidently spoken of the night 
jjBore had iwt been called. Messrs. Parks and 
Icracewere suffering from headaches — -undoubtedly 
a touch of tide chill. Saunders, at work with his 
partner in Eagle Bar, was as usual generous with 
apparently irrelevant facts on alE subjects— but 
that of the strangers. It would seem as if the 
self-constituted Committee of .Safety had done 
nothing. 

And nothing whatever seemed to happen ! 
^hompson, of Angels, smoking a meditative pipe 
at noon on the trail, noticed the repairing of jtbe 
old adobe house, casually spoke of it on his yeturn 
to his work, without apparent concern or exciting 
any conunent. The two Billinger brothers saw 
Jovita Mendez at the door of her house an hour 
later, were themselves seen conversing with her 
by Jim Barker, but on returning to their claim, 
neither they nor Barker exhibited any insurrec- 
tionary excitement. Later on, Shu^eworth wks 
found in possession of two bundles of freshly-rolled 
comrhusk cigarettes, ,|ind promised .' to get his 
partner some the next day, but that gentleman 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BVCKEYE CAAfP a:a 

anticipated Him. By nightfall nearly all Buckeye 
had p^sed in procession before the little house 
withcmt exhibiting any indignation or protest. 
That night, however, it seemed as if the events 
for which the Committee was waiting were really 
impending. The adult female population of 
Buckeye consisted of seven women — wives of 
miners. That they would submit tamely to the 
introduction of a young, pretty, and presumably 
dangerous member of their own sex w:is not to be 
supposei*. But whatever protest they made did 
not pass beyond their conjugal seclusion,' and was 
apparently not supported by their husbands. T wo 
or three of them, under the pretext of sympathy of 
sex, secured interviews with the fair intruder,' the 
result of which was not, however, generally know||^ 
But a few days later Mrs. ‘ Bob ’ Carpenter-^a 
somewhat brick-dusty blonde — was observed wear- 
ing some black netting and a heavily -flounced 
skiit, and Mrs. Shuttleworth in her next visit to 
Fiddletown wore her Paisley shawl affixed to her 
chestnut hair by a bunch of dOg roses, and wrapped 
like a plaid around her waist. The seven ladies 
of Buckt^e, who had never befor,e met, except 
on domeaic errands to each other’s houses or 
on Sunday attendance at the ‘ First Methodist 
Church’ at Fiddletown,- |^ow took fo walking 
togetheri or in their husTsands’ company, along the 



234 tM’ TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 


Upper bank of the river— the one boulevard of 
Buckeye. The third day after Miss Mendez’sarrival 
they felt the necessity of immediate shopping 
expeditions to Fiddletown. This operation had 
hitherto been confined to certain periods, and re- 
stricted to the laying in of stores of rough house- 
hold stuffs ; but it now apparently included a 
wider range and more ostentatious quality. Parks’ 
Jimporium no longer satisfied them, and this un- 
expected phase of the situation was practically 
brought home to the proprietor in the necessity of 
extending the more inoffensive and peaceful part 
of his stock. And when, towards the end of the 
week, a cartload of pretty fixtures, mirrors, and 
furniture arrived at the Tienda. there was a 
renewed demand at the Einjimrium for articles not 
in stock, and the consequent diverting of custom 
to Fiddletown. Buckeye found itself faqe to face 
with a hitherto undreamt of and preposterous 
proposition. It seemed that the advent of the 
strange woman, without having yet produced' any 
appreciable effect upon the men, had already 
insidiously inveigled the adult female population 
into ostentatious extravagance. / 

At the end of a week the little adobe house 
was not only rendered habitable, but was even 
made picturesque by clean white curtains at its 
barred windows, and some bright, half Moorish 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 235 

colouring of beams and rafters. Nearly the whole 
ground floor was given up to the saloon of the 
Ticnda, which consisted of a small counter at one 
side, containing bottles and glasses, and another, 
flanking it, with glass cases, containing cigars, 
pipes, and tobacco, while the centre of the room 
was given up to four or live small restaurant 
tables. The staff of Joviu. was no longer limited 
to Sanchichd, but had been augmented by a little 
old man of indefinite antiquity who resembled an 
Aztec ‘dol, and an equally old Mexican, who 
looked not t.nlike a brown-tinted and veined 
tobacco leaf himself, and might have stooil for a 
sign. But tlu- genius of the place, its omnipiesent 
and all-pervading goddess, was Jovila! Smiling, 
joyous, indefatigaUe in suavity and attention ; all- 
embracing in her courtesies ; frank of speech and 
eye ; quick at repartee and deftly handling the 
slang of the day and the locality with a childlike 
appreciation .and an infantine accent that seemed 
to redeem it from vulgarity or unfeminine bold- 
ness ! Few could resist the volatile infection of 
her presence. A smile was the only tribute she 
exacted, and good-humour the rulv laid down for 
her guests. If it occasionally required some 
mental agility to respond to her banter, a Cali- 
fornian gathering was, however, seldpm lacking in 
humour. Yet she was always the principal per- 



236 TI0^fkANSFQRMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

fortner to an" admiring audience. Per&aps there 
was securi% in this multitude of admirers ; perhaps 
there was a saving grace in this humorous trifling. 
The passions are apt to be serious and solitary, 
and Jbyita evaded them with a jest — which, if not 
always delicate or witty, was effective in securing 
fhe'laughter of the majority and the jealousy of 
none. 

At the end of the week another peculiarity 
was noticed. There was a perceptible increase of 
the Mexican population, who had always hitherto 
avoided Buckeye. On Sunday an Irish priest 
from El Pdsto said Mass in a patched-up corner 
of the old Mission ruin opposite Rollinson’s Ford. 
A few lounging ‘Excelsior’ boys were equally 
astonished to see J ovita’s red rose crest and black 
mantilla glide by, and followed her unvarying 
smile and jesting salutation up to the shadow of 
the crumbling portal. -At Vespers nearly all 
Buckeye, hitherto virtuously sceptical and good- 
humouredly secure in Works without Faith, made 
a point of attending ; it was alleged by some to 
see if J ovita’s glossy Indian-inky eyes would suffer 
aberration in hpr devotions. But the rose^crested 
head was never lifted from the well-worn prayer- 
book or the brown hands which held a certain 
poor little cheap rosary like a n^^ild’s string of bat- 
tered copper coins. Buckeye lounged by the wall 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 237 

through the service with respectful tolerance and 
uneasy shifting legs, and came away,* JBut the 
apparently simple event did not end there. It was 
unconsciously charged with a tremendous import 
to the settlement. For it was discovered the next 
day by Mrs. ‘ Bob’ Carpenter and Nan Shuttleworth 
that the Methodist Church at Fiddletownlvas too 
far away, and Buckeye ought to have a preacher 
of its own. Seats were fitted up in • the loft of 
Carpenter’s store house, where the Reverend 
Henry McCorkle held divine service, and in- 
stituted a Bible class. At the end of two weeks 
it appeared that Jovita's invasion — which was to 
bring dissipation and ruin to Buckeye — had in- 
directly brought two churches ! A chilling doubt 
like a cold mist settled along the river. As the 
two rival processions passed on the third Sunday, 
Jo Bateman, who had been in the habit of reclining 
on that day in his shirt sleeves under a tree, with 
a novel in his hand, looked gloomily after them. 
Then knocking the ashes from his pipe, he rose, 
shook hands with his partners, said apologetically 
that he had lately got into the habit of respecting the 
Sabbiitki and was too.old to changp again,*and so 
shook the red dust of Buckeye from his feet and 
departed, 

hk yet thereiiliad not been ^e slightest 
evidence of disorderly conduct on thjij part of the 



238 THn- T ransformation OF BUCKEYE camp 

fair proprietress of the Tienda, nor her customers, 
nor any (tlhnkenness or riotous disturbance that 
could be at all attributed to her presence. There 
was, it is true, considerable hilarity, smoking, and 
some gambling there until a late hour, but this 
could not be said to interfere with the rest and 
comfort of other people. A clue to the mystery 
of so extraordinary a propriety was given by 
Jovita herself. One day she walked into Parks’ 
F.mporium and demanded an interview with the 
proprietor. 

‘ You have made the rules for thees Booki ? ’ 
‘Yes — that is — I and my friends have.’ 

‘ And when one shall not have mind the rule — 
when one have say ; “ No ! damn the rule,” what 
shall you make to him ? Shall you aprison him ? ’ 
Mr. Parks hastened to Say with a superior, yet 
engaging smile that it never had been necessary, 
as the rules were obligatory upon the honour and 
consent of all — and were never broken. ‘ Except,’ 
he added, still more engagingly, ‘she would 
remember, in her case — with their consent.’ 

‘ And your caballeros break not the rules ? ’ 

‘ Nt>.’ 

‘ Then they shall not break the rules of me — 
at mjf Tienda ! Look ! I have made the rule that 
I shall not have a caballero drunk at my house ; 
j have made the rule that I shall not sell him the 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 239 

aguardiente when he' have too mooch. I have 
made the rule that when he gamble too mooch, 
when he put up too mooch money, I say “ No ! ’’ 
1 will not that he shall ! I make one more rule : 
that he shall not quarrel nor fight in my house. 
When he quarrel and figlit, I say “ Go ! Vamos / 
Get out ! ” ’ 

‘And very good rules thf'y are too, Miss 
Mendez.' 

Jovita fi.xed her shining black eyes on the 
smiling ’'arks. ‘ And when he say : “ No, nevarre, 
damn the rulep ! ” When he come drunk, remain 
drunk, play high and fight, you will not poonish 
him ? you will not take him out ?’ 

‘ Well, you see, the fact is, I hav(; not the 
{)ower.’ 

‘ Arc you not the Alcalde ?’ 

‘ No. There is a Justice of the Peace at 
Fiddletown, but even he could do nothing to 
enforce your rules. But if anything should hajjpen 
you can make a complaint to him.’ 

‘Bueno, You have not the power ; / hj^ve. 
I make not the complaint to Fiddletown. I 
make the complaint to Jos<5 Perez, to Manuel, 
to Antonio, to Sanchicha — she is a strong one ! 
I say “ Chook him out.” They chook him 
out! they remove him ! He does not r r-remain. 
Enough. Bueno. Gracias, SeUor, gpod-a-bye ! ’ 



240 THE TRApiSFORMATJON OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

' # * ' f* 

She was gone. For the next four days Parks 
was in a state of some anxiety— but it appeared 
unnecessarily so. Whether the interview had 
become known along the river did not transpire, 
but thefe seemed to be no reason for Miss Mendez 
to enforce her rules. It was said that once, when 
Thompson, of Angels, was a little too noisy, he 
had been quietly conducted by his frienyds from 
the Tienda without the intervention of Jos£ The 
frequenters of the saloon became its police. 

Yet the event — long protracted — came at last ! 
It was a dry, feverish, breezeless afternoon, when 
the short, echoless explosion of a revolver puffed 
out on the river, followed by another, delivered so 
rapidly that they seemed rolled into One. There 
was no mistaking that significant repetition. One 
shot might have been an accident ; txvo meant 
intention. The men dropped their picks and 
shovels and ran — ran as they never before ran in 
buckeye — ran mechanically, blindly growing at 
their belts and pockets for the weapons that hung 
there no longer ; ran aimlessly, as to pur^jse, but 
following instinctively with hurried bii^ath and 
(luivering nostrils the cruel scent of powder 
and blood. Ran until, reaching the Tienda, the 
foremost stt«nbled over the body of Shuttle- 
worth ; came ui>on the half-sitting, half-leaning 
figure of Saunders against its adobe wall ! The 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 241 

doors were* barred and close®, and%ven as.the 
crowd ch^-rged furiously forward,- a window was 
sharply shut above, in their very face. | 

‘ Stand back, gentlemen! Lift hjm up. 
What’s the row ? What is it, Saunders ? Who, 
did it ? Speak, man ! ’ ' 

But Saunders, who was still supporting himself 
against the wall, only looked at them with a 
singular .and half-apologetic smile, and then leaned 
forward as if to catch the eye of Shuttleworth, 
who was ’•ecovering consciousness in the uplifted 
arms of his companions. But neither spoke. 

‘It’s some d — d Greaser' inside!’ said 
Thompson, with sudden ferocity. ' ‘Some of her 
cursed crew ! Break down the door.s; boys ! ’ 

‘ Stop ! ’ 

It was the voice of Shuttleworth, speaking 
with an effort. He was hard hit, somewhere in 
the groin ; .pain and blood were coming with 
consciousness and movement, and his face was 
ghastly. Yet there was the same singular smile 
of embarrassment which Saunders had worn, and 
a touch of invincible disgust in his voice as he 
stammered quickly, ‘Don’t be d — fools! It’s 
no one in It’s only me and Arml He’ll 

tell you that. Won’t you, Saunders ? ’ 

‘ Yes,’ said ‘Saunders, leaning anxiously 

* * Greaser '—i>. Mexican. > 


R 



SAUKpKKS hOOKZV AT THEM WITH A SlISGULAK SMILE 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 243 

forward, with a brightening face. ‘ D — n it all— 
can’t you see It’s only— only- us.’ 

‘You and me, that’s all,’ repeated Shuttleworth, 
with a feverish laugh. ‘ Only our d — d foolishness ! 
Think of it, boys ! He gave me the lie, and I 
drew ! ’ 

‘ Both of us full, you know— reg’lar beasts,’ 
said Saunders, sinking back against the wall. 

‘ Kick me, somebody, and finish me off.' 

‘ I don’t see any weapons here,’ said Brace 
gravely, examining the ground. 

‘ I'hey're inside,' said Shuttleworth with tre- 
mulous haste. 'We began it in there — just like 
hogs, you know 1 Didn’t we, Saunders ? ’ bitterly. 

‘You bet,’ said Saunders faintly. ‘ Reg’lar 
swine.’ 

Parks looked graver still, and as he passed a 
iiaiidkerchief around the wounded man’s thigh, 
said; ‘ But 1 don’t see where you got your pistols, 
and how you got out here.’ 

‘ Clinched, you know ; sorter rolled over out 
here — and — and — oh, d — n it — don’t talk ! ’ 

. ‘ He means,’ said Shuttleworth still feebly, 
‘ that we — we— grabbed another marts six-shooter 
and — andi-^he that is — and they — he — he and me 
grabbed each other, and — don’t you see— but 
here, becoming more involved and much weaker,- 
he discreetly fainted away. 



244 the TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

0 

i Ai^dil^t was all Buckeye ever knew of the 
affair ! For they refused to speak of it again, and 
tHr, Dudhe^ne gravely forbade any further inter- 
rogation, Both men’s revolvers were found un- 
dischat^d in their holsters, hanging in their 
r^ljlective cabins. The balls which were after- 
wards extracted from the two men singularly dis- 
appeared ; Dr. Duchesne asserting with a grim 
smile that they had swallowed them.' 

Nothing could be ascertained of the facts at 
the Tienda, which at that hour of the day appeared 
to have been empty of customers, and was occupied 
oply by Miss Mendez and her retainers. All 
surmises as to the real cause of the t|uarrel and 
the reason for the reticence of the two belligerents 
were suddenly and unexpectedly, stopped by their 
departure from Buckeye as soon as their condition 
permitted, Sii the alleged opinion of Dr. Duchesne 
that the air of the river was dangerous to theih 
convalescence. The momentary Indignation 
against the Tienda which the two combatants had 
checked, eventually subsided altogetlier. After 
all, the fight had taken place outside ; it was not 
even proven 'that the provocation had been given 
at the Tienda ! Its popularity was undiminished. 

> It ’was a frontier superstiticm that tlte ball .extracted from a 
gunshot wound, if swallowed by the wounded man, prevented in- 
flammation or any supervenhrg complications. 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 245 

PART III 

It was the end of the rainy season, and' 'a wel 
night. Brace and Parks were looking from the 
window over the swollen river with faces quite 
as troubled as the stream below. Nor was the 
prospect any longer the same. In the past twc 
years Buckeye had grown into a city. They 
could now count a half-dozen church spires from 
the window of the three-storied brick building 
which h id taken the^ place of the old wooden 
‘ Emporium,’ but they could also count the 
brilliantly-lit windows of an equal number of 
saloons and gambling-houses which glittered 
through the rain, or, to use the words of a local 
critic, * .Shone seven nights in the week to the 
Gospel shops' one ! ’ A difficulty had arisen 
t^hich the two men had never dreaniftd of, and a 
struggle had taken plac.e between the two rival 
powers, which was developing a degree of 
virulence and intolerance on both sides that boded 
’^no good to Buckeye. The disease which, its 
infancy had escaped, had attacked its adult growth 
with greater violence. The new An^erican saloons 
which competed with Jovita Mendez’s Spanish 
venture had substituted a brutal masculine sin- 
cerity tor Ker veiled feminine methods. There 
was higher play, deeper drinking, darker passion.. 



246 THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

O 

Yet the opposition, after the fashion of most 
reformers, were casting back to the origin of the 
trouble in Jovita, and were confounding principles 
and growth. ‘ If it had not been for her the rule 
would.never have been broken.’ ‘ If there was to 
be ^ cleaning out of the gambling houses, she 
ntust go first ! ’ 

* The sounds of a harp and a violin played in 
the nearest saloon struggled up to them with the 
opening and shutting of its swinging baize inner 
doors. There was boisterous chanting from 
certain belated revellers in the next street which 
had no such remission. The brawling of the 
stream below seemed to be echoed in the uneasy 
streets ; the quiet of the old days had departed 
with the sedate, encompassing woods that no 
longer fringed the river bank ; the restful calm of 
Nature had receded before the dusty outskirts pf 
the town. 

‘ It’s mighty unfortunate, too,’ said Brace 
moodily, ‘ that Shuttleworth and Saunders, who 
haven’t been in the place since their row, have 
come over from Fiddletown to-day and are 
hanging aroujid town. They haven’t said anything 
that I know of, but their presence is quite enough 
tp revive the old feeling against her shop. The 
Committee,’ he added bitterly, ‘ will be sure to 
say that not only the first gambling, but the first 



THE TRANSFORMATION OF RUCK RYE CAMP 247 

shooting in, Buckeye took place there. If they 
get up that story again— no matter how qufet she 
has become since — no matter what you miay say 
as Mayor — it will go hard with her. \N’hat’s that 
now ? ’ 

They listent.d breathlessly, Above the brawl- 
ing of the river, the twanging of the harp-players, 
and the receding shouts of the revellers, they 
could hear the hollow wooden sidewalks re,sound- 
ingwith the dull, monotonous trampling of closely 
following feet. Parks rose with a white face. 

‘ Brace ! ’ 

‘ Yes!’ 

‘ Will you .stand by me — and her ? ’ 

‘ Stand by you and her "i ' Eh ? What ? 
Good God ! Parks! — you don’t mean to say you 
— it’s gone as far as that t ’ 

. ‘ Will you or won’t you ?’ 

The sound of the trampling had changed to a 
shuffling r)n the [)avement below, and then foot- 
steps began to ascend the stairs. 

Brace held out his hand quickly and grasped 
that of Parks as the door opened to half a dozen 
men. They were evidently the ringleaders of the 
crowd below. There was no hesitation or doubt 
in their manner; the unswerving directnes.s which 
always characterised those illegal dentonstrations 
lent it something of dignity. Nevertheless, 



248 THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

0i 

Carpenter, the spokesman, flushed slightly before 
Parks^s white, determined face. 

‘ Coine, Parks, you know what we re after,’ he 
^aid bluntly. ‘We didn’t come here to parley. 

knew your sentiments and what you think is 
yoyr duty. We know what we consider — 
and so do you. But we’re here to give you a 
chance, either as Mayor, or, if you prefer it, as the 
oldest citizen here, to take a hand in our business 
to-night. We’re not ashamed of what we’re going 
to do, and we’re willing to abide by it ; so there’s 
no reason why we shouldn’t speak above board of 
It to you. We even invite you to take part in 
our last “call ” to-night at the HalL’ 

‘Go!’ whispered Brace quickly, /jW// £’ciin 
twje / ’ 

Parks’s face changed, and he turned to. 
Carpenter. ‘ Enough,’ he said gravely. ‘ I res^ye 
what I have to say of these proceedings till I join 
you there.’ He stopped, whispered a few words 
to Brace, and then disappeared the men de- 
scended the stairs, and, joining the crowd on the 
pavement, proceeded silently towards the Town 
Hall. There was nothing in the appearance of 
that decorous procession to indicate its unlawful 
character or the recklessness with which it was 
charged! * 

There were thirty or forty men already s^ted in 



THE TkANSFOMMATlON OF BUCKEYE CAMP 249 

• 

the Hall. The meeting was brief and to the point. 
The gambling saloons were to be ‘ eleai^ out ’ 
that night, the tables and appliances throTO into 
the street and burnt, the doors closed, and the 
gamblers were to be conducted to the outskirts of 
the town and forbidden to enter it again on pain 
of death. 

‘ Does this yer refer to Jov'ita Mendez’s saloon 
asked a voice. 

To their “Surprise the voice was not Parks’s, but 
Shuttle worth’s. It was also a matter to be noted 
that he stood a little forward of the crowd, and 
that there was a corresponding movement of a 
dozen or more men from P'iddletown who 
apparently were part of the meeting. 

The chairman ^No. lo), said there was to l>e 
no exception, and certainly not for the originator 
erf disorder in Buckeye! He was surprised that 
the question should be asked by No. 72, who was 
an old resident of Buckeye, and who, with No. 73, 
had suffered from the character of that woman’s 
saloon. , 

‘ That’s jest it,’ said Shuttleworth, ‘ and ez I 
reckon that Saunders and me did all |he disorder 
there was, and had to turn ourselves but o’ town 
on account of it, I don’t §ee jest whetb she could’ 
come into this affair. Only,’ he turned and looked 
around him, ‘ in one way ! And that|yay, gentle- 



^ THE TRANSFORMATION OF BUCKEYE CAMP 

O 

men, would be for her to come here and boot one- 
half o’ this kempany out o’ town, and shoot the 
other half! You hear me! — that’s so!’ He 
Stopped, tugged a moment at his cravat and 
loosened his shirt-collar as if it impeded his utter- 
ance, and went on. ‘ I’ve got to say suthin’ to you 
gentlemen about me and Saunders and this woman ; 
I’ve got to .say suthin’ that’s hard for a white man 
to say, and him a married man, too— I’ve got to 
.say that me and Saunders never had no quoll, 
never had 710 fight at her shop: I’ve got to say 
that me and .Saunders got shot by Jovita Mendez 
for insultin' Ju'i- — for tryin’ to treat her as if she 
was the common dirt of the turnpike — and served 
us right! I’ve got to .say that Saunders and me 
made a bet that for all her ahs .she wasn’t no 
better than she might be, and we went there 
drunk to try her — and that we got left, with twp 
shots into us like hounds as we were! That’s so ! 
— wasn’t it, Saunders ? ’ ^ 

‘ With two shots inter us like hounds ez we 
were,’ repeated .Saunders with deliberate preci- 
sion. 

‘ And I’ve got to say suthin’ more, gen’lemen,’ 
continued Shuttleworth, now entirely removing 
•his coat and vest, and apparently .shaking himself 
free from any extraneous trammels. ‘I’ve got to 
.say this — I’ve got to say that thar ain’t a man in 



■ , THE TRANSFORMATION OF RUCKEVF CAMP 251 

Buckeye — from Dirty Dick over yon to the Mayor 
of this town, ez hasn’t tried the same thing on and 
got left — got left, without shootin’ may be, more’s 
the pity, but got left all the sarpe ! And I've got to 
say,’ liftinghis voice, ^thatef thaf suihat you call dis- 
orderliness in her — if that’s what yo’r turnin’ this 
w’oman out o’ town for — why ’ 

He stopped, absolutely breathless and gasping. 
I'or there w'as a monientary shock of sur])rise 
and shame, and then he was overborne by peal 
after |ie;d of inextinguishable laughter. But it 
was the laugliter that [)recipitatcd doubt, en- 
lightened justice, cleared confusion, and — saved 
them i 

In vain a few struggled to remind them that 
the question of the, other saloons was still unaf- 
fected. It was lost in the motion enthusiastically put 
apd carried that the Committee should instantly 
accompany Saunders and Shuttleworth to Jovita’s 
saloon to make an apology in their presence. 
Five minutes later they halted hilariously before 
its door. But it was closed, dark and silent ! . 

Their sudden onset and alarm brought 
Sanchicha to the half-opened dooi;. ‘ Ah, yes ! 
the Sehorita } Bueno ! She had just left for 
Fiddlelown with the Sehor Parks, the honour- 
able Mayor. They had been married only a few 
moments before by the Reverend Mr, McCorkle ! ’ 



THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 
PART I 

It- was bitterly cold When night fell over 
Lakeville, Wisconsin, the sunset, which had 
flickered rather than glowed in the western sky, 
took upon itself a still more boreal tremulousness, 
until at last it seemed to fade away in co}d blue 
shivers to the zenith. Nothing else stirred in 
the crisp still air the evening smoke of chimneys 
rose threadlike and vanished. The stars were 
early, pale, and pitiless ; when the later moonlight 
fell, it appeared only to whiten the stiffened earth 
like snow, except where it made a dull, pewter-like 
film over the three frozen lakes which encompassed 
the town. . 

The site of the town itself was rarely beautiful, 
and its pioneers and founders had carried out the 
suggestions they had found there with loving taste 
and intelligence. Themselves old myugeurs^ 
trappers, and traders, they still loved Nature too 
well to exclude her from the restful homes they 
had achieved after years of toiling face to face 
with her. So a strip of primeval forest oh the 



THEIR UNCLE FRX)M CALIFORNIA 253 

one side, and rolling level prairie on the other, still 
came up to the base of the hill, whereon tltey had 
built certain solid houses, which a second genera- 
tfon had beautified arid improved with modern 
taste, but which still retained their old honesty of 
foundation aad wholesome rustic space. These 
yet stood among the old trees, military squares, 
and broad sipping avenues of the town. . Seen 
from the railway by day, the regularity of streets 
and blocks was hidden by environing trees ; there 
remained only a picturesque lifting of rustic 
garden.s, broWr* roofs, gables, spires, and cupolas 
above the mirroring lake : seen from the railway 
this bitter nighi, the invisible terraces and streets 
\vfere now pricked out by symmetrical lines and 
curves of sparkling lights', which glittered through 
the leafless boughs and seemed to encircle the hill 
like a diadem. 

Central in the chiefest square, and yet pre- 
serving its old lordly isolation in a wooded garden, 
the homestead of Enoch Lane stood with all its 
modern additions and improvements. Already 
these included not only the latest phases of 
decoration, but various treasures brpught by the 
■second generation, from Europe, which they were 
wont to, visit, but from which they always con- 
tentedly returned to their little, provincial town. 
Whether there was some instinctive yearning, like 



254 THEIR UNCLE f^ROM CALIFORNIA 

c 

the stiifbd sap of great forests, in their wholesome 
pioneer blood, or whether there was some occult 
fascination in the pretty town-crested hill itself, it 
was stil! certain that the richest inhabitants always 
preferred to live in Lakeville. Even the young\^ 
wl^ left it to seek their fortune elsewhere, came 
l^ck to enjoy their success under the sylvan 
vaults of this vast ancestral roof. And that was 
why, this 22nd of December, 1870, the whole 
household of Gabriel Lane was awaiting the 
arrival from California of his brother, Sylvester 
Lane, at the old homestead which he had left 
twenty years ago. 

‘And you don’t know how he looks?' said 
Kitty l.ane to hen* fathc^r. 

‘ I do, perfectly ; rather chubby, with blue 
eyes, curly hair, fair skin, and blushes when you 
speak to him.’ . 

‘Pa[)a!’‘ 

‘ Eh } — Oh, well, he used to. You see that 
was twenty-live years ago, when he left here for 
boarding-school. He ran away #om th^re, as I 
told you ; went to sea, and finally brougltt up at 
San Francisep.’ ;; 

‘ And you haven’t had any ^picture, or photo- 
graph of him, since ? ’ 

‘ No — that is — I say! — you haven’t, any of you 
got a picture of Sylvester, have you ? 



THEIR UNCLE FR!OM CALIFORNIA 25 ; 

in a vague parenthetical appeal to the comimny of 
relatives and friends collected in the drawing-room 
after dinner. 

‘ Cousin Jane has ; she knows all about him ! ' 

But it appeared that Cousin Jane had only 
heard .Susan Marckland say that Edward Bingham 
had told her that he was in California when 
‘ Uncle Sylvester’ had been nearly hanged by a 
Vigilance Committee for protecting a hqrsc thief 
or a gambler, or some such [)erson. This was 
felt to be ineffective as a personal description. 

‘ He's sure to wear a big beard ; they all do 
when they first come back,' said Amos Gunn, with 
metropolitan oiaculousness. 

‘ He has a big curling moustache, long silken 
hair, and liroad slioulders,’ said Marie ilu Page. 

There was such piquant conviction in the 
manner of the speaker, who was also a very pretty 
girl, that they all turned towards her, and Kitty 
quickly said — 

‘ \Wt you've never seen him ?’ 

‘ No— but ’ She slopped, and, lifting one 

shoulder, threw her spirited head sideways, in a 
pretty deprecatory way, with elevated eyebrows 
and an expression intended to show the otherwise 
untranslatable character of her impression. But 
it showed quite as pleasantly the other fact, that 
she was the daughter of a foreigner, an old French 



2s6 their uncle from CALIFORNIA 

military explorer, and that she had retained even 
in Anglo-Saxon Lakeville some of the Gallic 
anim^pra. 

*^WelI, how many of you girls are going with 
to meet him at the station ? ’ said Gabriel, dis- 
missing with masculine promptness the lesser 
question. ‘ It’s time to be off.’ 

‘ I’d like to go,’ said Kitty, ‘ and so would 
Cousin Jane; but really, papa, you see if yoti 
don’t know him, and we don’t either, and you’ve 
got to satisfy yourself that it’s the right man, and 
then introduce yourself and then us — and all this 
on the platform before everybody — it makes it 
rather embarrassing for us. And then, a^.||>*iSi 
your younger brother and w(‘’re suppose^'' to be 
his affectionate nieces, you know, it Would make 
him feel so ridiculous ! ’ 

‘ And if he were to kiss you,’ said Marie, 
tragically, ‘and then turn out not to be him!’ 

‘ So,’ continued Kitty, ‘ you’d better take 
Uncle John, who was more in Uncle Sylvester’ Sj, 
time, to represent the Past of the family, and 

perhaps Mr. Gunn ’ 

‘To represent the future, I suppos^^^ lisls 
terrupted Gabriel, in a wicked whisper. 

‘ To represent a name that most mejt«^HTOie 
world in New York and San Frangisco know,’ 
went on Kitty, without a blush. ‘ It would make 



THEIR UNCLE FltOM CALIFORNIA 257 

recognition and introduction easier. And take an 
extra fur with you, dear — not for him for 
yourself. I suppose he’s lived so much in the 
open air as to laugh at our coddling.’ 

‘ I don’t know aboujC that,’ said her father, 
thoughtfully ; ‘ the last telegram I have from him, 
en route, says he's half frozen, and wants a close 
carriage sent to the station.’ 

‘ Of cour.se,’ said Marie, impatiently, ‘ you 
forget the poor creature comes from burning 
caflons a.id hot golden sands and j)erpetual sun- 
shine.’ 

‘ Very well ; but come along, Marie, and see 
how I’ve i^repared his room,’ and as her father 
left the dra\<lhg-room Kitty carried off her old 
schoolfellow upstairs. 

The room selected for the coming Sylvester 
hjd been one of the elaborate guest-chambers, but 
was now stripped of its more luxurious furniture 
and arranged with picturesque yet rural extra- 
vagance. A few rare buffalo, bear, and panther 
skins were disposed over the bare floor, and even 
displayed gracefully, over some elaborately rustic 
chairs. The handsome French bedstead had been 
displaced for a small wrought-iron ascetic-looking 
couch covered with a gorgeously striped Mexican 
blanket The fireplace had been dismantled of 

steel grate, apd the hearth extended so ps to 



258 THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 

allow a pile of symmetrically heaped moss-covered 
hickory logs to take its place. The walls were 
covered with trophies of the chase, buck horns 
and deer heads, and a number of Indian arrows 
stood in a sheaf in the corners beside a few modern 
guns and rifles. 

‘ Perfectly lovely,’ said Marie, ‘ but ’ — with a 
slight shiver of her expressive shoulders — ‘ a little 
cold and outdoorish, eh ? ’ 

‘ Nonsense,’ returned Kitty dictatorially, ‘ and if 
he is cold — he can easily light those logs. They 
always build their open fires under a tree. Why 
even Mr. Gunn used to do that when he was 
camping out in the Adirondacks last summer. I 
call it perfectly comfortable and so natural.’ 
Nevertheless, they had both tucked their chilly 
hands under the fleecy shawls they had snatched 
from the hall for this hyperborean expedition. „ 

‘ You have taken much pains for him, Kaitee/ • 
said Marie, with her faintest foreign intonation. 

‘ You will like this strange uncled — you ? ’ 

• ‘ He is a wonderful man, Marie ; h^’s been 
everywhere, seen everything, and done=everything 
out there. He’s fought duels, been cs^tured by 
Indians and tied to a stake to be tortured. He’s 
been leader of a Vigilance Committee, arid they 
say that he has often shot and billed n^en himself. 
I’m afraid he’s been rather wicked, yom know. 



THEIR UNCLE pkOM CALIFORNIA' 259 

He's lived alone in the woods like a herntit with- 
out seeing a soul, and then, again, he’s been a 
chief among the Indians, with Heaven knows how 
many Indian wives ! They called him “ The Pale- 
faced Thunderbolt,” my dear, and “ The Young 
Man who Swallows the Lightning,” or something 
like that.’ 

‘ And what can he want here ? ' asked Marie. 

* To see us, my dear,’ .said Kitty, loftily ; ‘ and 
then, too, he has to settle something about kis 
share of the property ; for you know grandpa left 
a share of it to him. Not that he’s ever, bothered 
himself about it, for he’s rich — a kind of Monte 
Cristo, you know — with a gold mine and an island 
off the coast, to say nothing of a whole county 
that he owns, that is called after him, and millions 
of wild cattle that he rides among and lassoes ! It’s 
dreadfully hard to do. You know you take a 
long rope with a slip-knot, and you throw it around 

your head so, and ’ 

‘ Hark ! ’ said Marie, with a dramatic start, 
and her finger on her small mouth, ‘ he comes*! ’ 
There was the clear roll of wheels along the 
smooth, frozen carriage sweep towards the house, 
the sharp crisp click of hoofs on stone, the open- 
ing of heavy doors, the sudden sparkling invasion 
of frigid air, the uplifting of voices in greeting — 
but all familiar! There were Gabriel Lane’s 



26 o 


THEIR UNCLE EkOAf CALIFORNIA 


cheery, hopeful tones, the soprano of Cousin Jane 
and Cousin Emma, the baritone of Mr. Gunn, and 
.the grafe ineasured oratorical utterance of Parson 
04xter, jwhp had joined the party at the station ; 
but certainly the accents of no stranger. Had he 
tome ? Yes, for his name was just then called, and 
the quick ear of Marie had detected a light, loung- 
ing, alien footstep cross the cold strip of ntarble 
vestibule. The two girls exchanged a napid 
glance ; each looked into the mirror, and then 
interrogatively at the other, nodded their heads 
affirmatively, and descended to the drawing-room. 
A group had already drawn round the fire, and a 
small central figure, who, with its back turhed 
towards them, was still enwrapped in an enormous 
overcoat of rich fur, was engaged in presenting an 
alternate small varnished lather boot to the 
warmth of the grate. As they entered the roopi 
the heavy fur was yielded up with apparent 
reluctance, and revealed to the astonished girls a 
man of ordinary stature with a slight and eli^gaiit 
figure set off by a travelling suit of irreproachable 
cut- His light reddish-yellow hair, moustache, 
and sunburned cheek, which seemed all of one 
colour and outline, made it impossible to detect 
the grey of the one or the hollowness of the other, 
and gave no indication of his age. Yet thdre was 
clearly no mistake. Here was Gabriel Lane 



THEIR UNCLE J^ROAf CAK/EORN/A 





A CSitOOP HAI> already DRAWN ROUND THR FIRE 

seizing their nervously cold fingers an(| presenting 
them to their ‘ Uncle Sylvester.’ 



ilf THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 

Far from attempting to kiss Kitty, the stranger 
for an instant seemed oblivious of th^ little hand 
she offered him in the half-preoccupied bow he 
gave her. But Marie was not so easily passed 
over, and, with her audacious face challenging his, 
he abstractedly imparted to the shake of her hand 
sdmething of the fervour that he should have 
shown his relative. And, then, still warming his 
feet on the fender, he seemed to have forgotten 
them both. 

‘ Accustomed as you have been, sir,’ said the 
Reverend Mr. Dexter, seizing upon an awkward 
silence, and accenting it laboriously, ‘ perhaps I 
should say inured as you have been to the ex- 
citing and stirring incidents of a lawless and 
adventurous community, you doubtless find in a 
pastoral, yet cultivated and refined, seclusion like 
Lakeville a degree of ’ , 

‘Oh, several degrees,’ said Uncle Sylvester, 
blandly flicking bits of buffalo hair from his well- 
fitting trousers ; ‘ it’s colder, you know — ^much 
colder.’ 

‘ I was referring to a less material contrast,’ 
continued Mr, Dexter, with a resigned smile; 
‘yet, as to the mere question of cold, I am told, 
sir, that in California there are certain severe 
regions of altitude — although the mean tempera- 
ture ’ 



THEIR UNCLE FRUM CALIFORNIA 263 - 

- I suppose out in California you fellows would 
say our temperature was a darned sight meatier, 
eh ? ’ broke in Amos Gunn, with a confidential 
glance at the others, as if offering a humorous 
diversion suited to the Californian taste. Uncle 
Sylvester did not, however, smile. Gazing criti- 
cally at Gunn, he said thoughtfully : ‘ I think not ; ' 
I’ve even known men killed for saying, less than 
that,’ and turned to the clergyman. ‘ You arc 
quite right ; some of the higher passes are very 
cold. I was lost in one of them in ’56 with a 
-small [)arty. We were seventy miles from any 
settlement, we had had nothing to eat for thirty- 
six hours ; oui camp fire, melting the snow, sank 
twelve feet below the surface.’ The circle closed 
eagerly around him, Marie, Kitty, and Cousin 
Jane pressing forward with excited faces ; even 
the clergyman assumed an expression of profound 
interest. ‘ A man by the name of Thompson, I 
think,’ continued Uncle Sylvester, thoughtfully 
gazing at the fire, ‘ was frozen a few yards away. 
Towards morning, having been fifty-eight hpurs 
without food, our last drop of whisky exhaysted, 
and the fire extinguished, we found, ’ 

‘ Yes, yes ! ’ said half a dozen voices. 

‘We found,’ continued Uncle Sylvester, 
rubbing his hands cheerfully, ‘ we found it — 
exceedingly cold. Yes — exceedingly cold ! ’ 



264 ^ THEIR UNCLE PROM CALIFORNIA 

There was a dead silence. 

‘ But you escaped ! ’ sard Kitty, breath- 
lessly. 

‘ I think so. I think we all escaped — that is, 
except Thompson, if his name was Thompson ; 
it might have been Parker,’ continued Uncle 
Sylvester, gazing with a certain languid astonish- 
ment on the eager faces around him. 

‘ But how did you escape ? ’ 

‘ Oh, somehow ! I don’t remember exactly. I 
don’t think,’ he went on reflectively, ‘ that we had 
to eat Thompson — if it was him — at least not then.* 
No’ — with a faint effort of recollection — ' that 
would have been another affair. Yes,’ assuringly 
to the eager, frightened eyes of Cousin Jane, ‘ you 
are quite right, that was something altogether 
different. Dear me ; one quite mixes up these 
things. Eh } ’ . 

A servant had entered, and after a hurried 
colloquy with Gabriel, the latter turned to Uncle 
Sylvester — . ^ 

Excuse me, but I think there must be 
mistake ! We brought up your luggage with 
— two trunks-x-in the station waggon. A 
just arrived with three more, which he saysf'are 
yours.’ 

‘ There should be five in all, 'I said 

Uncle Sylvester, thoughtfully. 



THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 265 

* Maybe there are, sir, I didn’t count exactly,’ 
said the servant. 

‘All right,’ said Uncle Sylvester, cheerfully, 
turning to his brother. ‘ You can put them in my 
room or on the landing, pce})t two marked ‘ L ’ 
in atriajigle. They contain some things I picked 
up for you and the girls. We ll look them ovt^r 
in the morning.' And, if you don’t mind, I’ll 
excuse myself now and go to bed.’ 

‘ But it’s only half-past ten,’ said Gabriel, re- 
monstrat'.ngly. '* You don’t, surely, go to bed at 
half-past ten ? ’ 

‘ I do when I travel. Travel is so exhausting. 
Good-night ! • Don’t let anybody disturb them- 
selves, to come with me.’ 

He bowed languidly to the company, and dis- 
appeared with a yawn gracefully disguised into a 
parting smile. 

‘Well!’ saidCousin Jane, drawing a long breath. 

‘ I don’t believe it’s your Uncle Sylvester at 
all ! ’ said Marie vivaciously. ‘ It’s some trick that 
Gabriel is playing upon us. And he’s not even a 
good actor — he forgets his part.’ . 

‘ And; then, five trunks , for one .single man ! 
Heavens ! what can he have in.them ? ’ said Cousin 
Emma. , 

‘ Perliaps his confederates, to spring out upon 
us at night, after everybody’s aslCep,’ 



266 . THEIR UNCLE mOM CALIFORNIA 

‘ Are you sure you remembered him, papa ? ’ 
said Kitty, sotto voce. 

‘ Certainly. And, my dear child, he knows all 
the family history as well as you do ; and ’ — con- 
tip’^'od her father with a slight laugh, that did not, 
liowever, conceal a certain seriousness that was 
hew to him — ‘ I only wish I understood as much 
about the property as he does. By the way, 
Amos,’ he broke off, suddenly, turning to the 
young man, ‘ he seemed to know your people.’ 

‘ Most men in the financial world do,’ said 
Gunn, a little superciliously. 

‘ Yes ; but he asked me if you hadn’t a 
relative of some kind in Southern California or 
Mexico.’ 

A slight flush — ^ slight that only the keen, 
vivaciously observant eyes of Marie noticed it— 
passed over the young man’s face. , 

‘ I believe it is a known fact that our branch 
of the family never emigrated from their native 
town,’ he said emphatically. ‘ The Gunns were 
rather peculiar and particular in that respect’ 
f Then there were no offshoots from the old 
stock', said Gftbriel. C 

Nevertheless, this pet joke of Gabriel’s did 
not dissipate the constraint and disappointment left 
upon the company by Uncle Sylvester’s unsatisfjf- 
ing performance and early withdrawal, and dyey 



THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 


267 


sepamted soon after, Kitty and Marie being glad 
to escape upstairs together. On the landing they 
met two of the Irish housemaids in a state of 
agitated exhaustion. It appeared that the 
‘ sthrange gintleman ’ had ^ requested that his bed 
be remade from bedclothes and bedding always 
carried with him in his trunks / From their 
apologetic tone it was evident that he had libe- 
rally rewarded them. ‘ Shure, Miss,’ protested 
Norah, in deprecation of Kitty’s flashing eye, 

‘ there's tliim that’s lived among shnakes and 
poysin riptiles and faverous disayses that’s 
particklar av the beds and sheets they lie on. 
Hishti Howly Mother! it’s something else he’s 
wanting now 1 ’ 

The door of Uncle Sylvester’s room had 
slowly opened, and a blue pyjama’d sleeve 
appeared, carefully depositing the sheaf of bows 
■ and arrows outside the door. ‘ I say, Norah, or 
Bridget there, some of you take those infernal 
things away. And look out, will you, for the 
arrow-heads are deadly poison. The fool wjio 
got ’em didn’t know they were African, and .not 
Indian at all I And hold on ! ’ , The hand 
vanished, and ])resently reappeared holding two 
rifles." ‘And take these away too! They’re 
loaded, capped, and not on the half-cock ! A jar, a 
fall,' the slightest shock is enough to stjnd them off!’ 



268. THEIR UNCLE •FROM CALIFORNIA 

‘ I’m dreadfully sorry that you should find it so 
uncomfortable in outhouse, Uncle Sylvester,’ said 
Kitty, with a flushed cheek and vibrating voice. 

‘Oh, it’s you — is it said Uncle Sylvester’s 
voice, cheerfully. ‘ I thought it was Bridget out 
there. No, I don’t intend to find it. uncomfortable. 
That’s why I’m putting these things outside. But, 
for Heaven’s sake, don’t yott touch them. Leave 
that to the ineffable ass who put them there. 
Good-night ! ’ 

The door closed ; the whispering voices of the 
girls faded from the corridor ; the lights were 
lowered in the central hall, only the red Cyclopean 
eye of an enormous columnar stove, like a light- 
house, gleamed through the darkness. Outside, 
the silent night sparkled, glistened, and finally 
paled. Towards morning, having invested the 
sturdy wooden outer walls of the house and filitied 
with delicate tracery every avaikble inch of 
window pane, it seemed stealthily to invade the 
house itself, stilling and chilling it as it drew 
closer around its central heart of warmth and life. 
Only once the frigid stillness was broken by the 
opening of p. door and steps along the ijorridor. 
This was preceded by an acrid smell of burning' 
bark. ' 

It was subtle enough to permeate the upper 
floor and the bedroom of Marie Page,; who 



THEIR UNCLE FRCflti CALIFORNIA 


369 


was that night a light and nervous sleeper. Peering 
from her door, she could see, on the lower corridor, 
the extraordinary spectacle of Uncle Sylvester, 
robed in a gorgeous Japanese dressing-gown of 
quilted satin trimmed wit^ the fur of the blue fox, 
candle in hand, leisurely examining the wall of the 
passage. Presently, drawing out a foot-rule from 
his pocket, he actually. began to measure it ! Miss 
Du Page saw no more. Hurriedly closing her door, 
she locked and bolted it, firmly convinced that 
Gabriel Lane was harbouring in the guise of 
Uncle Sylvester a somnambulist, a maniac, or an 
impostor. 


PART II 

‘It doesn’t seem as if Uncle Sylvester was any 
the more comfortable for having his own 
private bedding with him,’ said Kitty Lane, 
entering Marie’s room early the next morning. 
‘ Bridget found him curled up in his furs like a cat 
asleep on the drawing-room sofa this morning.’* 
Marie started ; she remembered her last night’s 
vision. But some instinct— she knew not what — 
kept her from revealing it at this moment. She 
only said, a little ironically — 

' Perhaps he missed the wild freedom of his 
barbaric life in a small bed-room.’ 



270 THEIR UNCLE 'FROM CALIFORNIA 

/ 

‘ No. Bridget says he said something about 
being smoked out of his room by a ridiculous 
wood fire. The idea ! As if a man brought up 
in the woods couldn’t stand a little smoke. No — 
that’s his excuse ! Marie ! — do you know what I 
firmly believe ? ’ 

‘ No,’ said Marie, quickly. 

‘ I firmly believe that poor man is ashamed of 
his past rough life, and does everything he can 
to forget it. That’s why he affects those ultra- 
civilised and effeminate ways, and goes to the 
other extreme, as people always do.’ 

‘ Then you think he’s really reformed, and 
isn’t likely to take an impulse to rob and murder 
anybody again ?’ 

‘ Why, Marie, what nonsense ! ’ 

Nevertheless, Uncle Sylvester appeared quite 
fresh and cheerful at breakfast. It seemed that 
he had lit the fire before undressing, but the • 
green logs were piled so far into the room that 
the , smoke nearly suffocated him. Fearful of 
alarming the house by letting the smoke escape 
thrdugh the door, he opened the window, and 
when it had ..partly dispersed, sought refuge him- 
self from the arctic air of his bedroom in the 
drawing-room. So far the act did not seem 
inconsistent with his sanity, or even ; intelli- 
gence and consideration for others. But Marie 



THEIR UNCLE FR&^ CALIFORNIA 271 

Bxed upon hm a pair |>f black, audacious 
eyes, 

‘Did you 'ever walk in your sleep, Mr. Lane?’ 

‘No ; but’ — thoughtfully breaking an^iigg — ‘I 
have ridden, I think.’ 

‘ In your sleep ? Oh, do tell us all about it ?’ 
said Cousins Jane and Emma in chorus. 

Uncle Sylvester cast a resigned glance out of 
the window. ‘ Oh ye.s — certainly ; it isn’t much. 
You see at one time I was in the habit of making 
long mo.iotonous journeys, Jind they were often 
exhausting, and,’ he added, becoming wearied as 
if at the recollection, ‘always dreadfully tiresome. 
As the trail was .sometimes very uncertain and 
dangerous, I rode a very sure-footed mule that 
could go anywhere where there was space big 
enough to set her small hoofs upon. One night 
I .was coming down the slope of a mountain 
towards a narrow valley and river that were 
crossed by an old, abandoned flume, of which 
nothing was now left but the upright trestle-work 
and long horizontal string-piece. As the trail 
was very difficult and the mule’s pace was slow, I 
found myself dozing at times, and at, last I must 
have fallen asleep. I think I must have been 
awakened by a singular regularity in the movement 
’of the mule — or else it was the monotony of step 
that had put me to sleep and the cessation of it 



272 THEIR UNCLE f^ROM CALIFORNIA 

a, wakened me. You see, at first I was no^ cer- 
tain that I wasn’t really dreaming. For the trail 
seemed to have disappeared ; the wall of rock on 
one side had vanished also, and there appeared to 
be nothing ahead of me but the opposite hillside,’ 
Uncle Sylvester stopped to look out of the 
' window at a passing carriage. Then he went on. 

‘ The moon came out, and I saw what had hap- 
pened. The mule, either of her own free will, or 
obeying some movement I had given the reins in 
my sleep, had swerved from the trail, got on top 
of the flume, and was actually walking across the 
valley on the narrow string-piece, a foot wide, 
half a mile long, and sixty feet from the ground. 
I knew,’ he continued, examining his napkin 
thoughtfully, ‘ that she was perfectly surefooted, 
and that if I kept quiet she could make the 
passage, but I suddenly remembered that midv^ay 
there was a break and gap of twenty feet in the 
continuous line, and that the string-piece was too 
narrow to allow her to turn round and retrace her 
steps.’ 

..‘Good Heavens!’ said Cousin Jane. 

‘ I ^g ypur pardon said Uncle Sylvester, 
politely. . 

‘ 1 only said, “ Good Heavens ! ” Well ? ’ she 
addeiJ, impatiently. ' ' 

‘Well.^’ repeated Uncle Sylvester vaguely. 



TMEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 


273 


‘ Oh^ that s all. I only wanted to explain what I 
nteant by saying I had ridden in my sleep/ 

‘ But,’ said Cousin Jane, leaning across the, 
table with grim deliberation and emphasising each 
word with the handle of ^her knife, ‘how — did — 
you — and — that — mule get down ? ’ 

‘ Oh, with slings and ropes, you know — so,* 
demonstrating by placing his napkin-ring in a 
sling made of his napkin. 

‘And I suppose you carried the slings and 
ropes wi.h you in your five trunks!’ gasped 
Cousin Jane. 

‘No. Fellows on the river brought ’em in 
the morning. Mighty spry chaps, those river 
niiners.’ 

‘ Very !’ said Cousin Jane. 

Breakfast over, they were not' surprised that 
thgir sybaritic guest excused himself from an 
inspection of the town in the frigid morning air, 
and declined joining a skating party to the lake 
on the ground that he could kee[) warmer indoors 
with half the exertion. An hour later found him 
standing before the fire in Gabriel Lane’s study, 
looking languidly dowi^on his elder brother. 

‘ I'hen, as far as I can see,’ he said quietly, 
‘ you have made ducks and drakes of your share 
of the property, and that virtually you are in the 
hands of this man Gunn and his father/ 

T 



274 THEIR UNCLE PROM CALIFORNIA 

You’re putting it too strongly,’ said Gabriel, 
d^recatingly. ‘ In the first place, my investments 
v^ith Gunn’s firm are by no means failures, and 
they only hold as security a mortgage on the forest 
land below the hill. It’s scarcely worth the 
money. I would have sold it long ago, but it 
had been a fancy of father’s to keep it wild land 
for the sake of old times and the healthiness of 
the town.’ 

‘ There used to be a log cabin there, where 
the old man had a habit of camping out whenever 
he felt cramped by civilisation up here, wasn’t 
there ? ’ said U nclc Sylvester, meditatively. 

‘Yes,’ said Gabriel, impatiently; ‘it’s still 
there — but to return to Mr. Gunn. He has ttxken 
a fancy to Kitty, and even if I could not lift the 
mortgage, there’s some i)Ossibility that the land 
would still remain in the family,’ , 

‘ I think I’ll drive over this afternoon and take 
a look at the old shanty if this infernal weather 
lets up.’ 

‘ ‘Yes; but just now, my dear Sylvester, let 
us attend to business. I want to show you those 
investments.’ 

‘ Oh, certainly ; trot ’em out,’ said his brother, 
plucking up a simulation of interest as he took a 
seat at the table. 

From a drawer of his desk Gabriel brought 



THEIR UNCLE FRdM CAL/'^ORN/A 


275 


out a* bundle of prospectuses and laid them before 
Uncle Sylvester. 

A languid smile of recognition lit up the 
latter’s face. ' Ah ! yes,’ he said, glancing at 
them. ‘ The old lot: “Cafmelita," "Santa Maria,” 
and “Preciosa!” Ju.sl as I imagined — and yet 
who’d have thought of seeing them /lav ! A good 
deal rouged and powdered. Miss Carmelita, since 
I first knew you ! Considerably bolstered up by 
miraculous t' stimony to your powers, my dear 
Santa Maria, since the day I found you out, to my 
cost ! And you too, Preciosa ! — a precious lot of 
money I dropped on you in the old days ! ’ 

' You are joking,’ said Gabriel, with an uneasy 
smile. ‘ You don't mean to im[)l)' that this stock 
is old and worthless ?’ 

‘ There isn’t a capital in America or Europe 
where for the last five years it hasn’t been floated 
■ with a new character each time. My dear 
Gabriel, that stock isn’t worth the paper it is 
printed on.’ 

‘ But it is imp()ssible that an experienced 
financier like Gunn could be deceived ! ’ * 

* I’m sorry to hear ^/mL' • 

‘ Come, Sylvester ! confess you’ve taken a 
prejudice against Gunn from your sudden dislike 
of his son ! And what have you against him } ’ 

‘ I couldn’t say exactly,’ said Uncle Sylvester 



276 THEIR UNCLE pROM CALIFORNIA 

reflectively. ‘ It may be his eyes, or only his 
cravat ! But,’ rising cheerfully and placing his 
hand lightly on his brother’s shoulder, ‘ don’t you 
worry yourself about that stock, old man ; 
that somebody else has the worry and you the 
cash. And as to the land and — Kitty — well, you 
hold on to them both until you find out which the 
young man is really after.’ 

‘ And then ? ’ said Gabriel, with a smile. 

‘ Don’t give him either ! But, I say, haven’t 
we had enough business this morning ? Let’s 
talk of something else. Who’s the French girl ?’ 

‘ Marie ? She’s the daughter’of Jules du Page 
— don’t you remember ? — father’s friend. When 
Jules died, it was always thought that father, who 
had half adopted her as a child, would leave her 
some legacy. But you know that father died 
without making a Will, and that — rich as he wias 
— his actual assets were far less than we had reason 
to expect. Kitty, who felt the disappointment as 
keenly as hef friend, I believe would have divided 
hei own share with her. It’s odd, by the way, 
that father could have been so deceived in the 
amount of his capital, or how he got rid of 
his money in a way that we knew nothing ofi 
Do you know, Sylvester, I’ve sometimes s^, 
pected — 

‘ What ? ’ said U ncle Sylvester suddenly. 



277 


THEIR UNCLE FRf)M CALIFORNIA 

The bored languor of his face had abruptly 
vanished. F.very muscle was alert ; his grey eyes 
glittered. 

‘ That- he -advanced money to Du Page, who 
lost it, or that they speculated «^ogether,’ returned 
Gabriel, who, following Uncle Sylvester’s voice 
o^nly, had not noticed the change of expression. 

‘That would seem to be a weakness of the 
Lane family,’ said Uncle Sylvester, grimly, with 
a return of his former carelessness. ‘ But that 
is not j mr own opinion — that’s a suggestion of 
someone else ? ’ 

‘ Weil,' said Gabriel, with a laugh and.a slight 
addition of ( olour, ‘ it was Gunn's theory. As a 
man of the world and a practical financier, you 
know. ’ 

‘ And you've talked with him about it ? ’ 

, ‘ Yes. It was a matter of general wonder 
years ago.’ 

‘ Very., likely — but, just now, don’t you think 
we’ve had enough financial talk ? ’ said Uncle 
Sylvester, with a bored contrition of his eye- 
brows. ‘ Conie,’ looking around the room, 
‘ you’ve changed the interior of the old house.’ 

‘Yes. U nfortunately, just after father’s death 
it was put in the hands of a local architect or 
builder, one of father’s old friends, but not a very 
skilful; workman, who made changes while the 



278 


THEIR UNCLE 'FROM CALIFORNIA 


family were away. That’s why. your present 
bedroom, which was father’s old study, had a slice 
taken off it to make the corridor larger, and why 
the big chimney and hearthstone are still there, 
although the fireplace is modernised. That was 
Flint’s stupidity.’ 

‘ Whose stupidity? ’ asked Uncle Sylvester, 
trimming his nails. 

‘ Flint’s — the old architect.’ 

‘ Why didn’t you make him change it back 
again ? ’ ' 

‘ He left Lakeville shortly after, and I brought 
an architect from St. Louis after I returned from 
Europe. But nothing could be done to, your 
room without taking down the chimney, so it 
remained as Flint left it.’ 

‘ That reminds me, Gabriel, I’m afraid I spoke 
rather cavalierly to Kitty, last night, about the 
arrangements of the room. The fact is, ' I’ve 
taken a fancy to it, and should like to fit it up 
myself. Have I your permission ? ’ 

. ‘ Certainly, my dear Sylvester.’ 

; I’ve some knick-knacks in my trunks, and I’ll 
do it at once,’ * 

‘ As you like.’ 

‘ And you’ll see that I am not disturbed ; and 




THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 279 
Then I’m off.’ 

Gabriel glanced at his brother with a per' 
plexed smile. Here was the bored traveller, 
explorer, gold-seeker, soldier of Ibrtime, actually 
as pleased as a girl over the prospect of jvrranging 
his room ! He called after him : ‘ Sylvester! ’ 

‘Yes.’ 

‘ I siiy, if you could, }'ou know, just try to 
interest these people to-night with some of your 
adventures — something told seriously, you know, 
as if y >u really were in earnest — I’d be awfully 
obliged to you. The fact is — you’ll excuse me — 
but they think you don’t come up to your repu- 
tation.’ 

‘ They want a story ? ’ 

'Yes — one of your experiences.’ 

‘ I’ll give them one. Ta-ta ! ’ 

, For the rest of the day Uncle Sylvester was 
invisible, although his active presence in his room 
was betrayed by the sound of hammering and 
moving of furniture. As the remainder of the 
party were skating on the lake, this eccentricity 
was not remarked except by one — Marie du,Page 
— who on pretence of a slight cold Jiad stayed at 
home. But with her suspicions of the former 
night, she had determined to watch the singular 
relative of her friend. Added to a natural loyalty 
to the Lanes, she was moved by a certain curiosity 



28 o ‘ THEIR UNCLE BROM CALIFORNIA 

and fescination towards this incompreheneible 
man. 

The. house was very quiet when she stole out 
of her room and passed softly along the corridor ; 
she examined the wall carefully to discover any- 
thing that niight have excited the visitor’s attention. 
There were a few large engravings hanging there; 
could he have designed to replace them by some 
others } Suddenly she was struck with the dis- 
tinct conviction that the wall of the corridor did 
not coincide with the wall of his room as re- 
presented by the line of the door. There was 
certainly a space between the two walls unac- 
counted for. This was undoubtedly what had 
attracted his attention ; but what business was it of 
his ? 

She reflected that she had seen in the wall of 
the conservatory an old closed staircase, riow usgd 
as shelves for dried herbs and seeds,' which she 
had been told was the old-time communication 
between, the garden and Grandfather Lane’s 
study — the room now occupied by the stranger. 
Perhaps it led still further, and thus accounted for 
the space. Determined to satisfy herself, she 
noiselessly descended to the conservatory. There, 
surely, was the staircase — a narrow flight df 
wooden steps encumbered with packages herbs 
—losing itself in upper darkness, gy the aid 



THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 381 

a candle she managed to grope and pick her way 
up step by step. Then she paused. The stair- 
case had abruptly ended on tlie level of the study, 
now cut off from it by the new partition. She 
was in a stifling enclosure, formed by the walls, 
scarcely eighteen inches wide. It was made 
narrower by a singular excrescence on the old 
wall, which seemed to have been a bricked closet, 
now half destroyed and in ruins. She turned to 
descend, when a strange sound from Uncle Syl- 
vester’s room struck her ear. It was the sound 
of tapping on the floor close to the partition, with- 
in a foot of where she was standing. At the 
same moment there was a decided movement of 
the plank of the flooring beneath the partition ; it 
began to slide slowly, and then was gradually 
withdrawn into the room. With prompt presence 
of mind, she instantly extinguished her candle and 
drew herself breathlessly against the partition, 
When the plank was entirely withdrawn, a ray 
of light .slipped through the opening, revealing 
the bare rafters of the floor, and a hand. and 
arm inserted under the partition, groping .as if 
towards the bricked closet. As i^he fingers of 
the exploring hand were widely extended, Marie 
had no difficulty in recognising on one of them a 
peculiar signet ring which Uncle %lvest.er wore. 
A swift impulse seized her. To the audacious 



'382 


THEIR UNCLE PROM CALIFORNIA 


Marie impulse and action •were the same thing. 
Bending stealthily over the aperture, she suddenly 
snatched the ring from the extended finger. The 
hand was quickly withdrawn with a start and un- 
controlled exclamation, and she availed herself of 
that instant to glide rapidly down the stairs. 

She regained her room stealthily, having the 
satisfaction a moment later of hearing .Uncle 
Sylvester’s door open and the sound of his foot- 
steps in the corridor. But he was evidently un- 
able to discover any outer ingress to the enclosure, 
or believed the loss of his ring an accident, for he 
presently returned. Meantime, what was she to 
do ? Tell Kitty of her discovery, and show the 
ring? No — not yet! Oddly enough, now that 
she had the ring, taken from hi.s wicked finger in 
the very act, she found it as difficult as ever to 
believe in his burglarious design. She must wajt. 
The mischief — if there had been mischief — was 
done ; the breaking in of the bricked closet was, 
from the appearance of the ruins, a bygone act. 
Could it have been some youthful escapade of 
Uncle Sylvester’s, the scene of which he was re- 
visiting as criminals are compelled to do? And. 
had there been anything taken from the ckuset — 
or was its destruction a .part of the changes in 
the old house ? How could she find oitit with- 
out asking Kitty? There was one imy. She 



THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA sSJ 

remembered that Mr. Gunn had. once shown a 
great deal^ of interest to Kitty about the old 
homestead, and even of old Mr. Lane’s woodland 
cabin. She would ask him. It was a friendly 
act, for Kitty had not of late been very kind to him. 

The opportunity presented itself at dusk, as 
Mr. Gunn, somewhat abstracted, stood apart 
at the drawing-room win low. Marie hoped he 
had enjoyed himself while skating ; her stupid 
cold had ke[)t her indoors. She had amused her- 
self rambling al)Out the old homestead ; it was 
such a queer place, so full of old nooks and 
corners and unaccountable spaces. Just the place, 
she would think, where old treasures might have 
been stored. Eh ? 

Mr. Gunn had not spoken — he had only 
coughed. But in the darkness his eyes were 
fijeed angrily on her face. Without observing it, 
she went on. She knew he was interested in the 
old house ; .she had heard him talk to Kitty ajaout 
it : had Kitty ever .said anything about some old 
secret hoarding place 

No, certainly not ! And she was mistakan, he 
never was interested in the house ! .He could not 
understand what had put that idea in her head ! 
Unless it was this ridiculous, shady stranger in 
the guise of an Uncle whom they had got there. 
It was like his affectation ! 



284 THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 

‘ Oh, dear, no,’ said Marie, with unmistakable 
truthfulness, 'lie did not say anything. But,’ 
with sudden inconsistent aggression, ‘ is that the 
way you speak to Kitty of her uncle ? ’ 

- Really he didn’t know — he was joking only, 
and he wds afraid he -must just now ask her t<) 
excuse him. He had received letters that made 
it possible that he might be called suddenly to 
New York at any moment. Marie stared. It 
was evident that he had proposed to Kitty and 
been rejected ! But she was no nearer her dis- 
covery. 

N or was there the least revelation in the calm, 
half-bored, yet good-humoured presence of 
wicked uncle at dinner. So indifferent did he 
.seem, not only to his own villainy but even to the 
loss it had entailed, that she had a wild iijnpulse 
to take the ring from her pocket and display it pn 
her own finger before him then and there. But 
the conviction that he would in some way be equal 
to the occasion prevented her. Th^dinner passed 
off .with some constraint, no doubt, emanating 
fron\ the conscious Kitty and Gunn. Neverthe- 
less, when they had returned to the drawing-room, 
Gabriel rubbed his hands exj>ectantly. 

‘ I prevailed on Sylvester this morning to 
promise to tell us some of his experiences-^-some- 
thing compute and satisfactory this time. Eh ? ’ 



THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 2S5 

Uncle Sylvester, warming his cold blood 
before the fire, looked momentarily forgetful and 
— disappointing. Cousins Jane and Rpinia 
shrugged their shoulders. 

‘Eh,’ said Uncle Sylvester, absently, ‘er — er 
— Oh yes! Well’ (more cheerfully), ‘ about what, 
eh.?’ 

‘ Let it be,’ said Marie, pointedly, fixing her 
black magnetic eyes on the wicked stranger, ‘ let 
it be something about the discovery of gold, or a 
buried treasure hoard, or a robbery.’ 

To her Intense disgust Uncle Sylvester, far 
from being discomfited or confused, actually looked 
pleased, and bis grey eyes thawed slightly. 

‘Certainly,’ he said. ‘Well, then! Down on 
the San Joaquin River there was an old chap — 
one of the earliest settlers — in fact he’d come on 
from Oregon b(;forc the gold discovery. His 
name, dear me!’ — continued Uncle Sylvester, 
with an effort of memory and apparently be- 
ginning alr;eady to lose his interest in the story 
— ‘ was— er — Flint.’ 

As Uncle Sylvester paused here, Cousin Jane 
broke in impatiently. ‘ Well, that’s not an 
uncommon name. There was an old carpenter 
here in your father’s time who was called Flint. 

‘ Yes,’ said Uncle Sylvester, languidly, ‘ But 
diere is, or was, something uncommon about it — 



286 THEIR UNCLE FROM CALIFORNIA 

ami that’s the point of the story,, for in the old time 
Flint and Gunn were of the same stocky’ 

‘ Is this a Californian joke ? ’said Gunn, with a 
forced smile on his flushed face. ‘ I f so, spare me, 
for it’s an old one.’ 

‘ It’s much older history, Mr. Gunn,’ said 
Ulicle Sylvester blandly, ‘which I remember 
from a boy. When the first Flint traded near 
Sault Sainte Marie, the Canadian voyageurs lite- 
rally translated his name into Pierre a Fusil, and 
he went by that name always. Eiit when the 
English superseded" the French in numbers and lan- 
guage the name was literally translated back again 
into “ Peter Gunn,” which his descendants bear.’ 

‘ A laboured form of the old joke,’ said Gunn, 
turning contemptuously away. 

‘ But the story,’ said Cousins Jane and Emma. 
‘ The story of the gold discovery — never mind the 
names.’ 

‘ Excuse me,’ said Unde Sylvester, placing 
his hand in the breast of his coat with a delightful 
exaggeration of offended dignity. ‘ But, doubts 
having been cast upon my preliminary statement, 1 
fear I must decline i)roceeding further.’ Never- 
theless, he smiled unblushingly at Miss Du Page 
as he followed Gunn from the room. 

The next morning those who had noticed the 
•strained relations of Miss Kitty and Mr. Gunn 



* THEIR UNCLE FRSM CALIFORNIA 387 

were, not suprised that the fetter was recalled on 
pressing business to New York by the first train ; 
but it was a matter of some astonishment tf) 
Gabriel Lane and Marie du Page that Uncle 
Sylvester should have been up early, and actually 
accompanied that gentleman as far as the station ! 
Indeed, the languid explorer and gold-seeker ex- 
hibited remarkable activit}^ and, clad in a rough 
tourist suit, announced, over the breakfast-table, 
his intention of taking a long tramp through the 
woods, ivhich he had not revisited since a boy. 
To this end he had even provided himself with a 
small knapsack, and for once realised Kitty’s ideal 
of his character. 

‘ Don’t go. too far,’ said Gabriel, ‘ for, although 
the cold has moderated, the barometer is falling 
fast, and there, is every appearance of snow. Take 
cafe you are not caught in one of our blizzards.’ 

‘ 'Qxxtyou are all going on the lake to skate ! ’ 
protested Uncle Sylvester. 

‘ Yes ; for the very reason that it may be our 
last chance ; but should it snow we shall be nearer 
home than you may be.’ , 

Nevertheless, when it came on, to snow, as 
Gabriel had predicted, the skating party was by 
no means so near home as he had imagined. A 
shrewd keenness and some stimulating electric con- 
dition of the atmosphere had tempted the young 



388 THEIR UNCLE EROM CALIFORNIA 

people fa,r out on the lake, and they had ignofed tJie 
first fall of fine greyish granulations that swept along 
the icy surface like little puffs of dust or staoke. 
Then the fall grew thicker, the grey sky contracted, 
the hurrying flakes, dashed against them by a fierce 
north-wester, were larger, heavier, and seemed an 
almost palpable force that held them back. Their 
skates, already clogged with drift, were beginning 
to be useless. The bare wind-sw’ept spaces were 
becoming rarer ; they could only stumble on blindly 
towards the nearest shore. N or when they reached 
it were they yet safe ; they could scarcely stand 
against the still increasing storm that was fast 
obliterating the banks and stretch of meadow be- 
yond. Their only hope of shelter was the range 
of woods that joined the hill. Holding hands in 
single file, the little party, consisting of, Kitty, 
Marie, ;md Cousins Jane and Emm&^ — stout- 
hearted Gabriel leading and Cousin John bring- 
ing up the rear — at last succeeded in reaching it, 
and were rejoiced to find themselves near old 
Lane’s half-ruined cabin. To their added joy and 
astonishment, whiffs of whirling smoke were issuing 
from the crumbling chimney. They ran to the 
crazy door, [tushed aside its weak fastening; and 
found — Uncle Sylvester calmly enjoying a pipfe 
before a blazing fire. A small pickaxe and crow- 
bar were lying upon a mound of freshly-turned 



THRIR UNCLE FRmf CALIFORNIA 28 * 
m 

earth l^sid? the chimney, where the rotten floor- 
ing had been torn up. 

The tumultuous entrance of the skating party 
required no explanation ; but when congratulations 
had been exchanged, the wet snow shaken off, and 
they had drawn round the fire, curious eyes were 
cast upon the solitary occupant and the pile of earth 
and ddbris before him. 

‘ I believe,’ said Gabriel, laughingly, ‘ that you 
have been so bored here that you have actually 
played .4 gold-hunting for amusement.’ 

U ncle Sylvester took the pipe from his mouth 
and nodded, 

' It’s a common diversion of yours,’ said Marie 
audaciously. 

Uncle Sylvester smiled sweetly. 

‘And have you been successful this timet' 
as^ed Marie. 

‘ I got the c^l® 3 (ur.’ 

•Eh?’ 

Uncle Sylvester rose and placed himself with 
his back to the fire, gently surveying the assembled 
group. 

‘ 1 was interrupted in a story of gold-digging 
last evening,’ he said blandly. ‘ How far had 1 

got?’ 

‘ You were down on the San Joaquin 
River in the spring of ’50, with a chap named 




UNCLE SYLVESTER TOOK THE TOE FROM HIS MOUTH 

Flint,’ chorused . Cousins Jane and Smmj 
promptly. 


THEIR UNCLE FR«M CALlEORNiA 29.I 

I yes,’ said Uncle Sylvester. Well, in 
those days there was a scarcity of mbiiey i*|, the 
diggings. Gold dust there was in plenty, but no 
coin. You can fancy it was a bother to weigh out 
a pinch of dust every time yt>u wanted a drink of 
whisky or a pound of ‘flour; but there was no 
other legartender. Pretty soon, however, a lot of 
gold and silver pieces founr> their way into circula- 
tion in our camp and the camps around us. They 
were foreign— old French and English coins. 
Here’s ang of them that I kept.’ He took from 
his pocket a gold coin and handed it to Gabriel. 

. Lane rose to his feet with an exclamation : 

‘ Why, this is like the louis-d’or that grandfather 
saved through the war and gave to father.’ 

Uncle Sylvester took the coin back, placed it 
in his left eye, like a monocle, and winked gravely 
at^the company. 

‘ It is the same ! ’ he went on quietly. ‘ I 
was interested, for I had a good memory, and I 
remembered that, as a boy, grandfather had shown 
me one of those coins and told me he was keeping 
them for old Jules du Page, who didn’t believe 
in banks and' bank-notes. Well, I. traced them 
to a trader called Flint, who was shipping gold 
dust from Stockton to Peter Gunn & Sons, in 
. New^York.' 

‘To whom asked Gabriel, quickly. 



2<)2 


THEIR UNCCE mOM CALIFORNIA 


‘ Old Gunn — the father of your friend ! ’ «said 
Uncle Sylvester, blandly. ‘ We talked the matter 
over on • bur way to the station this morning. 
Well, to return. Flint only said that he had got 
them from a man called Thompson, who had got 
them from somebody else in exchange for goods. 
A year or two afterwards this same Thompson 
happened to be frozen up with me in Starvation 
Camp. When he thought he was dying he con- 
fessed that he had been bribed by Flint to say 
what he had said, but that he believed the coins 
were stolen. Meantime, Flint had disappeared. 
Other things claimed my attention. 1 had quite 
forgotten him, until one night, five years after- 
wards, I blundered into a deserted mining camp, 
by falling asleep on my mule, who carried me across 
a broken flume, but — I think I told you that story, 
already.’ 

‘You never finished it,’ said Cousin 
sharply. ^ ' 

‘ Let me do so now, then. I was reaily saved 
by some Indians, who took me fw d spirit up 
aloft,there in the moonlight .and Spread the alarm. 
The first white man they brought me was A 
wretched drunkard known to the boys as “■ Old 
Btisil,” or “ Fusel Oil," who went into deliriuhi 
tremens at the sight of me. Well, who do you 
suppose he turned out to be? Flint! ' FjjAt 



THEIR UNCLE FRQM CALIFORNIA 393 

played cpt and ruined! CaiSt?*off an4 discarded by 

his relations in New 'York — the foundation of 

• > 

whose fortunes he had laid by the' villainy they 
had accepted and condoned. For Flint, as the 
carpenter of the old homestead, had discovered 
the existence of a bri(!ked closet in the wall of 
father’s study, partitioned it off so that he could 
break into.it without detection and rifle it at his 
leisure, and who had thus carried off that part of . 
grandfather’s hoard which father had concealed 
there. He knew it could never be missed by the 
descendants. But, through haste or ignorance, 
he did, n4t tmch the papers and documents also 
* hidden there. And they told of the existence of 
gtahdfather’s second or hiding-place, beneath 
'^fhis hearth,. and were left for me to discover.’ 

He coolly relit his pipe, fixed his eyes on 
Marie without apparently paying attention to the 
breathless scrutiny of the others, and went on : 

‘ Flint, alias Pierre k Fusil, alias Gunn, died a 
maniac. I resolved to test the truth of his story. 

I came here. I knew the old homestead, as a 
boy who had wandered over every part of it, far 
better than you, Gabriel, or anyone. The elder 
Gunn had only, heard of it through the criminal 
d^lb^re of his relative, and only wished to 
absorb it through his son in time, and thus 
obliterate all trace of Flint’s outrage, I recognised 



294 THEIR^ UNCLE UROM CALIFORNIA 

th^ -room perfectly — thanks to our dear Kitty, 
who had taken up the carpet — which thus disclosed 
the loose plank before the closet that was hidden 
by the partition. Under pretext of re-arranging 
the room — for which Kitty will forgive me — I 
sj^nt the day behind a locked door, making my 
way through the partition. There I found the 
rifled closet, but the papers intact. They con- 
tained a full description of the sum taken by Flint, 
but also of a larger sum buried in a cask beside this 
chimney. I had just finished unearthing it a few 
moments before you came. I had at first hoped 
to offer it to the family as a Christmas gift to- 
morrow, but He stopped and sucked slowly 

at his pipe. 

‘ We anticipated you,’ said Gabriel laughing. 

‘ No,’ said Uncle Sylvester coolly. ‘ But 
because it don’t happen to belong to at all ! 
According to the paper I have in my pocket, 
which is about as legal a document as I ever saw, 
it is father’s free gift to Miss Marie du Page,' 

^Kitty threw her arms around her w^ite and 
breathless friend with a joyful cry, and honest 
Gabriel’s face shone with unselfish gratification. 

‘ For yourself, my dear Gabriel, you must be 
satisfied with the fact that Messrs. Peter Gurni 
& Sons will take back your wild-cat stock at 
the price you paid for it It is the price they pay 



THEIR UNCLE FmM CALIFORNIA 295 

for»their share in this littl# transaction, as I had 
the honour of pointing out to Mr. Gunn on our 
Way to the station this morning.’ 

‘ Then you think that young Mr. Gunn knew 
that Flint was his relation, and that he had stolen 
father’s money,’ said I^itty, ‘and that Mr. Gunn 

only wanted to ’ She stopped, with flashing 

eyes'. 

‘I think 'he would have liked to have made* 
an arrangement, my dear, that would keep the 
secret .md the property in the family,’ said Uncle 
Sylvester. ‘ But I don’t think he suspected the 
existence of the second treasure here.’ 

‘And then, sir,’ said Cousin Jane, ‘ it appears 
that all these wretched, unsatisfactory scraps of 
stories you were telling us were nothing after all 
but ’ 

‘ My way of telling this one,’ said Uncle 
Sylvester. 

As the others were eagerly gathering around 
the unearthed treasure, Marie approached him 
timidly, all her audacity gone, tears in her ayes, 
and his ring held hesitatingly between her fingers. 

‘ How can I thank you — and how ^an you ever 
forgive me ? ’ 

• ‘Well,’ said Uncle Sylvester, gazing at her 
critically, ‘ you might keep the ring to think over it.’ 



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Arehla Lovell. 

By O.J5IAHV1JH.B FBHIV. 

The Hew Mlstresa 
By FBBCF FITBOBBABB. 
Fatal Sera 

toy JRI B, FBAIVCIBI^OH. 

■•rr£b]r'fir«.l 

Pandurai^ 


t A Beal Guoen. 




28 


BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 


The ElccADiLf y (3/6) Novels— 

_ BrUei^WABJD QABUKW. 
The Gapel OlrU* 

By CHABIiBS BIBBON. 
Robin Grt^* I The Golden Shaft. 
Loving a Bream* [Of High De^^ 
The Fiotter of the Forest. 

By B. OliANril.EiB. 

The Lost Heiress. | The Fossicker. 

By CBClli CiBlFFITU. 
Gorintnla Marazion. 

By TnOlliAS BABBY. 
Under the Greenwood Tree. 

By BBBT UABTIS. 

A Waif of the Flains. 

A Ward of the Golden Gate. 

A Sappho of Green Snrings. 

Colonel Starbottle's Client. 

Susy. I Sally Dows. 

By jrUA.IAlV HAWTUOBIVIS. 
Garth. I Dust. 

Bliloe Quentin. Fortune*B Fool. 
Sebastfan Strome. | Beatrix Randolph. 
David Polndexter*s Disappearance. 

The Spectre of the Camera. 

By Mir A. llJEIiPG. 

Ivan de Blron* 

By IGAAe UENBEBGOIV^ 
Agatha Page. 

By BLra. Al.FBBB IIIJIVT. 
The Leaden Casket. | Self-Condemned. 
Ihat other Person. 

By B. AGJIB KING. 

A Drawn Game* 

“The Wearing of the Green.” 

By B. liFNN lilNA'ON. 
Patricia Kemball. I lone. 

Under which Lord? Paston Carew. 
”My Lovel*' I Bowing the Wind. 
The Atonement of Learn Dundas. 

The World Well Lost. 

By IIBNBY W. liVCY. 
Gideon Fleyoe. 

By jrvIlTIN FTcGABTHV. 

A Fair Saxon. { Donna Quixote. 
Llnley Rockford* Haid of Athens. 
Miss Misanthrope. I Camtola, 

The Waterdale neighbours. 

My Enemy’s Daughter. 

Dear Lady Disdain. 

The Comet of a Season. 

By AGNKtf mACBONEl.!*. 
Quaker Cousins* 

By B. CHBISTIE BrBBAF. 
Life’s' Atonement. | Yal Strange. 
Joseph’s Qpat. | Hearts. 

Coals of Fire. | A Model Father. 

Old Blazer’s Hero. 

By the Gatb of the Sea. 

A Bit of Human Mature. 

First Person Singular. < Cynic Fortune. 
The Way of the World. 

By iSlJBBAY dk HBBBAN. 
The Bishops’ Bible. 

Paul Jones’s Alias. 

By nUTRIB NIMBB’l’. 

“Ball Ifpl” 

By GBOBGBft OHNBT. 

A Weird Gift. 

By Bre. Bl4iraAHT« 


The Piccadilly (3/6) Novels— 

By OUIBA. 


Held in Bondage. 
Strathmore. . ” 
Chandos. 

Under Two Flags. 
Idalla. 

OecilOastlemaine’s 

Gage. 

Trlootrin* | Puck. 
Folle Farine. 

A Dog of Flanders. 
Pascarel. ^ Bigna. 


By Bv 
Waiteladles, 


Raprax- 


Two Little Wooden 
Shoes. 

In a Winter City. 
Ariadne. 
Friendship. ^ ’ 
Moths. I RufBno. 
Pipistrallo* 
AVlUage Commune 
Binlbi. I Wanda. 
Frescoes.! Othmar. 
In Maremma. 
Syriin.l Guilderoy. 
Santa Barbara. 


Princess 
ine. 

By BARGABBV A. PAUl.* 
Gentle and Simple. 

By JAIVIBM PAFN. 

Lost Sir Massingberd. 

Less Black than We’re Painted. 

A Confidential Agent. 

A Grape from a Thorn. 

In Peril and Privation. 

The Mystery of Mirbridge. 

The Canon^ Ward, - 
Walter’s Word. 

By Pro3 


By Proxy. 
High Spirits. 
Under One Rc 


Talk of the Town 
Holiday Tasks. 
This Burnt Million. 
The Word and the 
Will. 

Sunny Stories. 


Root 

From Exile* 

Glow-worm Tales. 1 

By B. C. PRICB. 
Valentina. I The Foreigners. 

Mrs. Lancaster’s Rival. 

By BICIIAKB PBYCB, 

Miss Maxwell^i Affections. 

By CHARBSM BE ABB. 

It is Sever Too Late to Mend. 

The Double Marriage. 

Love lie Little, Love Me Long. 

The Cloister smd the Hearth. 

The Course of True Love. 

The Autobiography of a Thiet 
Put Tourself In hfs Place. 

A Terrible Temptation. 

Singleheart ana Doublefisee. 

Good Stories of Men and other Antmegb. 


Wandering Heir. 
A Woman-Hater. 
A Simpleton. 
Readlana. 

The JUt. 


Hard Oashc 
Peg Woffington. 

ChristieJohnstdne. 

Griffith Gaunt. 

Foul Play. 

A Perilous Secret. 

By rare. H. BIBBEI.I*. 
The Prince of Wales’s Garden Party. 
Weird Stories. 

By E. W. ROBINSON. 
Women are Strange. 

The Hands of Jmmoe. 

By W. CEABK BVSMEI.A.. 
An Ooean Tragedy. 

My BhlpmatoLouise. 

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea. 

By jrOlUV MAUNBEBM. 

Guy Waterman, i Two Dreamers. 
Bound to the WheeL 
The Lion In the Path. 
ByKATHABlNE SAITNBERS 
Margaret and BUxaheth. 

Gideon’s Rock, f Heart Salvage, 
the High MIUs, SebastlaQ. 



GHETTO 8c WINDUS, 214, PIO CADiLLY. 


29 


The Piccadilly {3/6) Novels— 

ny l4UK£ SilABJP. 

In a Bteamev Obair. 

Bfr HAWlil^ir SlIEABT. 
Without I^ove or Ucenco. 

By R. A. OTRRNRAIjJB. 

The Aiyhan Knife. 

By BRBV^A TROIRAS. 

Proud Haisle. • | The Vtolln^player. 
By FRANCKS K. TROUOPK. 
Like Bhlpi upon the Sea. , _ _ 

Anne Fumeee. i Mabel*a Pro^reei. 

Br IVAN 'TIJBOKNIKFF, ^c. 
fitorles from Foreign MOyellete. 

CHEAP EDITIONS OF 

Post 8vo, illustrat(>d 

By ARTE3WL1TS WARI>. 
Artemua Ward Complete. 

By BRiRONO ABOUT. 

The Fellah. • 

By HA9III.TON AIBK. 

Carr of CarrlFoii. | Confldenoee. 

Bv MARBT AA.BBBT. 

Brooke FinchloF’e Daughter. 

By mae. AAKXANBKB. 
Maid.WifeiOrWldow? I Valerie* Fate. 

By BRANT AUAKN. 

Swrando Btorlei. . The I^^ll’e Die. 
Philietia. Thle Mortal Coll. 

» Babylon. i In all Shades. 


le* i Tents of Bhem. 


The Beokonlnd Hnnd. 

For Maiinie*s Mce. I ^ 

Great Taboo. I Datnare8q*8 Daughter. 

By K. AKSTKB ABNoliB. 
Phra the Phoenician. 

By AKAN ST. ACBVN. 

A Fellow of Trinity. | The Junior Dean. 
By B«Y. s. BABINCI GOUliR. 
Red Spider. i Eve. 

FRANK BABBKTT. 
Fettered for Life. 

BlWreen Ufe and Death. 

The Bin of Olga Zassoulioh. 

Folly Morrison. {Honest Davie. 

Lieut. Bamaba8.|A Prodigal’s Progress. 
Found Guilty. I A Recoiling Veageance. 
For Love and Honour. 

John Ford: and His Helpmate. 

Little Lady Linton. 

By W. BKSANT A J. RICK. 
This Son of Vuloms. 1 ^ Celia’s Arbour. 
My UtUe Girl. “ ■" 

Case of Mr.Lacraft. 

Golden Butter^. 

Ready-Money Mortlboy. 

With Hi^m and Crown. 

*Twas In Trafalgar’s Bay. 

The Chaplain m the Fleet. 

By SKISI4SA.K t BBAITCKAIRF. 
Orantley Orange. 

By ARBRaSB BKBBCB. 

In the mdBt of Ufe. 

By FBKRKRICK BOTKB. 
Camp Motes. I Savage Ufo« 
Chroniqlqg of M0‘man*8 Land« 


Mfonksof Thelema. 
The Beamy Bide. 
Ten Years* Tenant. 


The Piccadilly (3/6) NovEtS-^osHiiird. 

By \NTHONir T»0A»JL«i»p:. 
)Fjaa Frohmann. j Kept in the Dark. 
MKrlon Fay. Land-Leaguerg. 

The Way We Live Hqw. 

Mr. Boarborough’s Family. 

By C. C. KBASKB-TITTliKB. 
Mistress Jnditii. 

By SABAH TITTUKR. 

The Bride’s Pass. | Lady Bell. 

Burled Diamonds. 

The Blaekhall Ghosts. 

By HARK TWAIN. 

The American Claimant. 

By JT. S. WINTKK. 

A Soldier's Ohildreh. 

POPULAR NOVELS. 

boards, 9s. each. 

By WAKTKR BKSANT. 
Dorothy Forster. I Uncle Jack, 
Children of Glbeon. I Herr Paul us. 

All Sorts and Conditions of Men. 

The Captains* * Room. 

All in a Garden Fair. 

The World Wont Very Well Then. 

For Faith and Freedom. 

To Call Her Mine. 

The Bell of Bt. Paul’s, j The Holy Roso. 
Armoral of Lyonssse. 

St. Katherine’s by the Tower. 

^ By BRKT HARTK. 
Californian Stories.! Gabriel Conroy. 
An Heiress of Red Dog. I Flip. 

**^»»P* I MaruJa. 

A Phyllis of the Sierras. 

By HABOXiR BBTRGKS. 
Uncle Bam at Home. 

By BOBKRT BUCHANAN. 
The Shadow of the — 

Sword. 

A Child of Nature. 

God and the Man. 

Love Me for Ever. 

Foxglove Manor. , 

The Master of the Mine. 

By HAUL. CAINK. 

The Shadow of a Grime. 

A Son of Hagar. | The Deemster. 

By Commander CAHKBON. 
The Cruise of the “Black Prinoe.** 

By Hrs. UOVKTT CAHKMON. 
Deceivers Ever. | Juliet’s Guardian. 

By AUSTIN CUAHK. 

For the Love of a Lass. 

By Hrs. ABCIIKB C!|:.1VK. 
Paul FerrolL 

FerroU KlUed his Wife. 

By HACUABKN COBBAN. 
The Core of Souls. 

By C. AXiUSTON COUJLINS. 
The Bar Sinister. 

HOBT. dkMBANCKS COUL.XNS. 
Sweet Anne Page. J Transmigration. 
From Mldn^ht to Midnight. 

Fight wlthJPortuns.J YiUage Comedy. 
Swert and Tvrenty. [ You Play msFalso. 
Blaoksmtth %EUt SoHolar* j Frances* 


The Martyrdom ot. 

Madeline. 

Annan Water. 

The New Abelard. 
Matt. 

The Heir of Linne. 



30 


BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 


My MisceUaniM, < 
Woman in WhlU. 
The Hoonstone. 
Man and Wife. 
J^r MlM Tinoh. 
The Fallen LeaYOi. 
lexenel'e Daughter 
The Slaek Robe. 
Heart and fioienoe. 
«I Say Mo.** 

The Evil Geniui, 

I Little Movele. 

Legacy of Cain. 

I Blind Love. 


I’Wp.SlIlLLDlG Novrls— 

WII 4 JMIK 

Armadale. “ 

Alter Dark. 

No Name. 

Antonina. I Baeil* 

Hide and Mk. 

The Dead Secret. 

Queen of Heart!. 

Mleeor Hrc7 
Mew Magdalen. 

The Frozen Deep. 

Law and the lAdy. 

The Two Dezanlee. 

Haunted HoteL 

A Rogue*! Life. 

Rt FI. J, €OI.<|IJIfOUNc 
Every Inch a Soldier. 

By BUTTON COOK. 

Leo. { Paul Foster's Daughter. 

Uy C. KOBBRT CttABDOC'M. 
Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

By l?l ATT Crt IFA. 
Adventures of a Fair Rebel. 

By B. Ff. CBOKBR. 
Vretty Hiss Neville. I Bird of Passage. 
Diana Barrington. Proper Pride. 

By wiiaLiij»i cVpi.«rd. 
Hearts of Gold. 

By AliBUONSB BACBRT. 
The Evangelist: or, Port Salvation. 

By BBAMItlCM DAWt^ON. 

The Fountain of Youth. 

By AAFIBM BB iniIA.E.B. 

A Castle in Spain. 

By J. E.KITI1 BBBWRIVT. 
Our Lady of Tears. I Circe’s Lovers. 

By CllABUBA OICKKNA, 
Sketches 1^ Box. | Oliver Twist. 
Pickwick Papers. | Nicholas Nlokleby. 

By BICK BONOVAW. 

The Man-Hunter. | Caught at Laetl 
, Tracked and Taken. | Wanted 1 
Who Poisoned Hetty Duncan? 

Tho Man from Manchester. 

A Detective*! Triumphs, 

In the Grip of the Law. 

From Information Received. 

Tracked to Doom. 

By Firs. ANNIB EBWABOBgl. 
A Point of Honour. | Arohie Lovell. 

Ity mu BBTUAFI^BBIVABOA. 
Felicia. I Kitty. 

By BBWABB BCSOI^BMTON. 

l?y «. WANVIJLl^K MENN. 
The Mew Hlstresa 
By PKBCM EITMC»BBA1«B. 
Bella Donnsu I Polly. 

Never Forgotten. I Fatal Zero. 

The Second Mrs. Tillotson. 

Seventy-flvo Brooke Street. 

The Lady of Brantome. 

By A*EBCY EITEBEBAEB 
■nd atlirrs. 

Strange Secrete. 

AY.BANV BE VBNBl^ANlirs. 
riit^ Lu — 

By B 
Olympia. 

One iw One. | King er Knave? 

A Real Queen* | Romaaoee of Law. 


B. B. EBANCKKdLBN. 


Robin Gray. 

Fan^ Free. 

For Laok of Gold. 
What will the 
World Say? 

In Love and War. 
For the King. 

In Pastures Green. 

S ueen of Meadow. 

Heart’s^ Problem. 
The Dead Heart. 


Two-Siiii,lino Novels— con/tMtti-f/* 

By liABOA.B EBEBEBICK. 

Seth's Brother's Wife. 

The Lawton olrl. 

Prel.by Mir BABTAiE BBEBE. 

Pandura^ Hari. 

By OAIN EBIMWEX.^. 

One of Two. 

_ By EBIVABB JDABBETT. 

The Oapei Girls. r, 

JBy CT1ABI.EM OIBBON. 

In Honour Bound. 
Flower of Foresu 
Braes of Yarrow. 
The Golden Shaft, 
or High Degree. 
Mead and Stream. 
Loving a Dream. 

A Hard Knot. 
Heart's Delight 
Blood-Money. 

By VriJLlilAIVK OII.BERT. 

Dr. Austin's Guests. I James Duke. 

The Wlsard of the 'Mountain. 

By EBNKST OE^AN Vi l.f.E. 

The Lost Helresa. | The Fossloker. 

By SIENBV <FK BTIE^JLE. 

A Moble Woman. | Hikanor. 

By JOHN ElABBEBTON. 

Brueton's Bayou. { Country Luck. 

By ANBBEW HAE^EilBAV. 

Every-Day Papers. 

By Cody ElErErCM HABBV. 

Paul Wynter’s SacrlSce. < 

By THOFIAM 11 ABB Y. 
Under the Greenwood Tree. 

liABWOOB. 

The Tenth Earl. 

By JCE.IAN HAWTHOBNE. 
Garth. | Maatlan Strome. 

Bilioe Quentin. j Dust, 

Fortuiie;v Pool. ^atrix Randolph. 
MlesC^ogna. l^vo-^aMai^ 

David Poindexter's DisAnihMUMtooe. 

The Spectre of the Camara* 

. «?»*•:. llRliBS. 
Ivan do Blron* 

. W “I. MEBJBAN. 

A Leading Lady. 

By Mrs. CAMIKEI, HOEY. 

The Lever's Creed. 

By Mrs, OEOBBE HOOPEB. 

The House of Ri^. 

»yM«»AE IIOPKINS. 
'Twixt Love and Duty. 

Bv Mre. nUNBEBPOBB. 

A Malden all Forlorn, 

In Dumoe YUo. | A Mental Strugglo 
Marv***»J - , XjI Modem Cl%; 

_ By Mrs. AE.PBEB lElTNE'. 
Thoralemft'^odeL I Self-Gon^mned. 
That ^herPar^ I Leaden Casket 
- ^_»T«AN INCUElMkW, 

Fated to be Free. 

aay 

The Dark Colleen. 

The Queen of OonnamOit 
_ By MABB bUbMHAW; 
C(d<mlal«Faote and Fictions* 



CHPifTTO &| WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 


Two-Shilling Novnls— 

Mr B. ASBB Kllto. 
A Dmm Game. 1 Pa«lon*s 
«*Tbe Wearing ot th« Oiaen/* 

B^l joiIW liBYli. 




a* 


Th« Undijj^ik , 


:.virw 


W t«IlVT«IW, 
Paston Oar«w. 

My Lovel” 
lone. 


By 

Patricia KeiUbi 
World Well Loel 
UnderwIiiohLord? . 

The Atonctnent of Learn Dnndae. 

With a Silken Thread. 

The Rebel of the Pamlly. . 

Bovlnd the Wind. . ^ 

By HBUTBY AV. I^UCIT. 
aideon Fleyee. ^ ^ 

By JVMTITV IffcCABTllV. 

A Fair Saxon. i Donna Quixote. 
Linley Roqhford. Maid or Athena 
Miss Mieanthrope. I Camtola. 

Dear Lady Disdain. 

The Waterdale Meighboore. 

My Enemy's Dat^ter. 

The Comet of a Sefeon. 

By jwArcor.i.. 

Mr. Stran^ex% Sealed Packet. 

By AtilMlBS MACBOMBI.I^. 
Quaker Owains. 

KaTHABIMB IBACftlJOiD. 
The Evil Bye. | Lost Rose. 

By W. n* lflAl.l.O€K. 

The Hew RepnbUe. 

By I*'l 40 BB|Vt K MARRVAT. 
^Opon! Sesamet | Fighting the Air. 
*A Harvest of Wild Osis. 

Written In Fire. 

By A. lYIAflTBRlVIAlT. 
Halfa-dosen Daughters. 

By BRAirBBK RIATTIIBWH. 
A Secret of the Sea. 

B» l.KONAHB inKRRlCK. 
The Man who was Good. 

By ABAN RllBDfiRltlAMSI. 
Touch and Oo. | Mr. Dorlllion. 

By itlrs. dlOl.BMfVOBTII. 
Hadheroourt Rectory. 

By A. B. irilTBBOrK. 
Stories Weird and WonderfuL 
The Dead Man's Secret. 

From the Bosom of the Deep. 


A Model Father. 

Joseph's Coat. 

Coals of Fire. 

Val Strange* 

A I4fe*s Atonement. 

Ry the Gate of the Sea. 

A Bit of Roman Mature* 

First Akreon Singular. 

Hy MATHHAW.and llBBitlARr. 
One Traveller Returns. 

Paul Jonss's Allas. 

Ths Bishops’ Bibls. 

By HjEiYBir nvuuAr* 

A Gams of Bluff. 

By H17MB MffSBBT. 

“Bell Up!” 

Fr. Bernard Bt. Vtaeent. 

By Allies B*ilANl40IT. 

Ths Unfoieseen. ( Chanosf or Fatsf 


Two-Shillino Noviu-»— 

B, BBORRBfl OHNBT. 

I 

By Bps* Oliin^NT. 
Whitsladies. ) Ths Pntevoss Path* 
Ths Grsatest Hslress in Eiwand* 

By Mrs. RllBBR't' O KBil.I.W. 
Phosbs's Fortonea 

By oeiBA. 

Held In Bondage ‘ ' 

Strathmpre, 

Chandoa 


Under Tdro Flags. 
Idalla. 

CaollCastlemalne's 

Gage. 

Trlcotrin. 

Puck. 

Foils Farlne. 

A Dog of Flanders. 
Pasoarel. 

Blgna. 

Pnnoess Maprax- 
ine. 

In a Winter City. 
Ariadna 


Two Little Wooden 
Shoes. 

Friendship. 

Motha 

Piplstrello. 

A Village Com- 
mune. 

Blmbl. 

Wanda. 

Froscoes. 

In Maremma. 
Othmar. 

Guildoroy. 

RufBno. 

Byrlln. . 

Ouida'B Wisdom, 
Wit, and Pathos. 


MABOABBT ACSi’VBM BAtA.. 
Gentle and Simple. 

By AAMBM PAVM. 


By B. CIIBIMTSB MVRRAV. 

Old Blaser’s Hero. 
Hearta 

Way of the World. 
Cynic Fortuna 


£200 Reward. 
Marine Residenca 
Mirk Abbey. 

By Proxy. 

Under One Roof. 
High Splrite. 
early on '8 Year. 
From Exile. 

For Gash Only. 
Kit. 

The* Canon's Ward 
Talk of the Town* 
Holiday Tasks. 


Bentlttok's Tutor. 

Murphy's Master. 

A County Family. 

At Her Mercy. 

Oeoll'e Tryst. 

Clyffarde of GlyfTe. 

Foster Brothers. 

Found Dead. 

Best of Husbands. 

Walter's Word. 

Halves. 

Fallen Fortunes. 

Humorous Storlea 
Lost Sir Massingberdc 
A Perfect Treasure. 

A Woman's Yengeanca 
The Family Bcapegraca 
What He Cost Her. 

Gwendoline's Harvest. 

Like Father, Like Bon. 

Married Beneath Him. 

Mot Wooed, but Won. 

Less Black than We’re Painted. 

A Oonddentlal Agent. 

Some Private Views. 

A Grape from a Thorn. 

Glow-worm Talcs. 

The MysteiV of Mlrbrldga 
The Burnt Million. 

The Word and the Wilf. 

A Prince of the Blood* 

Sunny Btorlefe. * 

By C?. I4. PlKKI«s. 

Lady Lovelace 

By BmAR A. F4>B. 

The Myetery ofMarle Roget. 

By Mr*. llAMPBfSY.I. raABO. 
The Romance of m Station. 

The Soul of ^ntese Adrian. 

By% €7. BBICB. 
Valentina. I The Foretgnert* 

Mrs. Lattcastif*b Rival, j Gerald* 



3^ 


.BOOKS PUBLISHED BY CHATfO k wllNDUS. 


T%o-Shili,tng Novels— coitfiWMerf. 

tty uiriiAHtt i 

MIfis Maxweirs JLffections. 

CHAIKI^ttS itlSA1»K* 
tt It RtYtr Too Late to Met&d, 

Ohrittie Johnstone. 

Put Yoarielf in Hit Place. 

The Doable HarriaiCe. 

Love Xo Little* Love Ke Lon£. 

The Ololtter and the Hearth. 

The Courte of True Love. 
Antoblo^raphy of a Thief. 

A Terrible Temptation. 

The Wondering Heir. 

Singleheart and Doublefaoe* 

Good Stories of Men and other Animals. 
Hard Cash. A Simpleton. 

Peg Woffington. Readlana. 

Griffith Gaunt« A Woman-Hater. 

Foul Play. The Jilt. 

A Perilous Secret, 
tty Hire. J. IV. 

Weird Stories. | Fairy Water. 

Her Hether’s Darling. 

Prince of Wales's Garden Party. 

The Uninhabited House. 

The Mysten in Palace Gardens^ 

The Hun's Curse. 1 Idle Tales. 

By V. W. ROBINMON. 
Women are Strange. 

The Hands of Justice. 

tty JAirittie ttlJNCIIflAIV. 
Skippers and Shellbacks. 

Grace Balmalgn's Sweetheart. 

Schools and Scholars. 

tty %V. Cl.Attl£ BUXklBI.1... 
Round the Galley Fire, 

On the Fo’k'ele Head. 

In the Middle Watch. 

A Voyage to the Cape. 

A Booh lor the Hammock. 

' The Myetery of the “Ocean Star.” 

The Romance of Jenny Harlowe. 

An Ocean Tragedy. 


My Shipmate Louise. 
Alon 


.ilone on a Wide Wide Sea. 
fJBOBBlE AlTBliSTtJM MAl.A. 
Gaslight and Daylight. 

By JOHN MAtJNttBRM. 

Guy Waterman. | Two Dreamers. 
The Lion in the Path. 

By KATIlAHlNtt SArNttlSBM. 
Joan Merryweather, | Heart Salvage. 
The High Mills. | SebaeUan. 
Mafgartj and Elizabeth. 

By ttttOtieJifi R. MlRlfil. 
Rogues and Vagabonds. 

The Rinir o* Beils. 

Mary Jane''s Memoirs. 

Mary Jane Married# 

Tales of To^ay. ] Dramas of Life. 
Tinkletop's Crime* 

Zeph : A Circus Story. 

fly ARTltUK MKBTCHI4ICY* 
A Hatch la Ois Dark. 

tty I1AWA.RY mmJkWLTp, 
Wlthont Love or Lloenoe, 

»T «r. W. fiPKlClHT. 

The Mysteries of Heron Dyke. 

The Golden Hoop. 1 By Devlons Ways. 
Hoodwinked, Ac. | Back to Llle. 


Two-S/Jilling Novels — continutd, 

Ry R. (A. STBR^JOAI^B. 
The Afghan Knife. ^ 

Hf R. I^OCrVB »TEV®Njp>N, 
Hew Arabian Mights. | P^noe Otto. 

»Y BRRT'HA TIVOHAS. 
Cresslda. | (Vroud Halsie. 

The Ylolln-player. 

Ry AyAl.TRR TltORNOUBl 
Tales for the Marines. 

Old Stories Re>toid. 

T. Al>OA.PIlfJM TROV 4 V.OPE 
Diamond Out Diamond. 

Ry F. BI.BANOR TROt 4 V.OPl 
Like Ships upon the Sea. 

Anne Furness. i MabelV Progresa 

Ry ANTHONY^ VROVil.OFK. 
Frau Frohmann. 1 Kept in the Dari 
Marlon Fay. I John Caldlgale. 

The Way we Live Slow. 

Tho American Senator. 

Mr. Scarborough's Family. 

The Land-Loaguersr 

The Golden Lion of Granpere. 

Ry J. T. XRDWRRAIDRii:. 
FarneU's Folly. 

tty IVAN XVRClttNIRFF, Arc 
Stories from Foreign Novelists. 

By iflAKli. AIN. 

A Pleasure Trip on the Continent* 
Tho Glided Age. 

Mark Twain's Sketches. 

Tom Sawyer* ( A Tramp Abroad 
Tbs Stolen White Elephant. 
Huckleberry Finn. 

Life on the Mississippi. 

The Prince and the Pauper. 

A Yankee at the Court of King Arthu: 

tty C. C. FRAMttB.Xi:Xl.l£U. 
Mistress Judith. ^ ° 

By MABAII TYTf.FR. 
The Bride's Pass, j 
Burled Diamonds, i 


] Noblesse Oblige. 

I Disappeared, 
j Huguenot Famil] 
I Blackhall Ghosts 


Sal nt Mungo's City. 

Lady Bell. 

What She Came Through. 

Beauty and the Beast. 

Citoyenne Jaquellne. 

By Firs. F, H. WVI.T^IAIHIMON< 
A Child Widow. 

By J. ». WINTBB. 
Cavalry Life. } Regimental Logeadi 
By H. F. WOBB. 

The Passenger from Scotland Yard. 
The Englishman of the Rue Oiiiii. 

By l.ady WOBB. 

Sabina. 

CttA.lA FABKKB WBBl4E.ttl 
Rachel Annstrong; or, Love & Theoiog' 
By BBiniJNB YAXJBM. ■ 
Tho Fovtom Hope, { Land at Last, 

''--‘--ray. 


OCnCTf, SUALB AKD CO. {.{MITSD, FRIMTXBS, ORSAT SATFRON IULL,, B.C,